Pros and Cons from the San Jose Sharks Game 1 Conquest of the Colorado Avalanche

SAN JOSE, CA - APRIL 26: Martin Jones #31 of the San Jose Sharks defends the net against the Colorado Avalanche in Game One of the Western Conference Second Round during the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at SAP Center on April 26, 2019 in San Jose, California (Photo by Brandon Magnus/NHLI via Getty Images)
SAN JOSE, CA - APRIL 26: Martin Jones #31 of the San Jose Sharks defends the net against the Colorado Avalanche in Game One of the Western Conference Second Round during the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at SAP Center on April 26, 2019 in San Jose, California (Photo by Brandon Magnus/NHLI via Getty Images) /

The San Jose Sharks kick off the second round with a victory over a high-powered Avalanche club.

After a lethargic start the San Jose Sharks were able to outpace the Colorado Avalanche winning 5 – 2 in Game 1 at the Tank. It was an impressive win for a team that just finished up a 7 game slug-fest with their rival the Vegas Golden Knights.

This game wasn’t as dramatic as that Game 7, but there were still a lot of things to like about the San Jose Sharks overall play. At the same time there were a few dents in Team Teal’s armor that could be detrimental later in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.


Reaching New Depths ~ The San Jose Sharks depth got the better of the Avalanche in Game 1. The “third line” consisting of Joe Thornton, Marcus Sorensen, and Kevin Labanc dominated the bottom tier of the Avs lineup. The trio was lethal spending little time in the offensive zone. They generated a handful of grade A scoring chances while on the ice together, which ended up turning into a couple of highlight reel goals.

Having this kind of firepower on the third line is a luxury that only a few teams in the NHL can claim to have. Opposing teams will throw their best defensive efforts at the Sharks top two sets of forwards, but have no choice but depend on the bottom tier of their roster or tired players against a fresh line that consists a future Hall of Famer.

Chess Game on the Ice ~ Team Teal was able to suppress the big guns for Colorado (for the most part) by matching them up against Vlasic and the Couture line. This allowed Pete DeBoer to deploy the Hertl and Thornton lines in advantageous situations. Say what you will about DeBoer, he continues to strive on home ice when given last change.

The depth and high-caliber talent on the Sharks makes them perfect for Stanley Cup Playoff hockey. If this team stays relatively healthy they have all the pieces necessary to match-up with almost any team remaining in the playoffs. With coaches shrinking their benches around this time of year, a condensed Sharks roster is a match-up nightmare for Avalanche coach Jared Bednar.

Is This Playoff Martin Jones? ~ Martin Jones continued his strong play for the San Jose Sharks. He made some timely saves that kept Colorado from breaking the game open early on. He ended the night with 26 saves while facing 28 shots on goal. He saw tons offensive zone pressure from one of the best lines in the NHL and came out of it relatively unscathed.

It’s refreshing to see Jones flip the narrative surrounding his play over this recent stretch of games. After a disastrous beginning of the Stanley Cup Playoffs where Jones posted a 0.838 SV%, a -6.12 GSAA, and pulled from 2 of his 4 starts. He’s been able to perform like a completely different goalie during the Sharks current winning streak.

During those 4 games the 29-year-old’s save percentage sky rocketed to 0.943%.  Jones is also registering a 3.16 GSAA, which leads all goalies in the playoffs during that time frame. That stat is a good representation of exactly how important he has been for the Sharks during all of those elimination games against Vegas.

A lot of mystery surrounds Martin Jones, but if this recent trend of stellar play continues the Sharks will finally have a complete team. It’s hard not to think of them as the Stanley Cup favorite if we are actually starting to see the real “Playoff Martin Jones”.


Another Early Goal… ~ In Game 1 of Round 2 the San Jose Sharks gave up another goal within the first five minutes of a contest. It’s hard to pin the blame on squarely on Martin Jones. He did produce a rebound, but he didn’t have much help clearing the front of the net. That made things easy for Gabriel Bourque who scored just 2:10 into the first frame.

Team Teal’s high scoring offense has been able to respond to most of these early goals. But this is an extremely dangerous life to live by. It might not this game, or a game in this series against the Avalanche but eventually the Sharks are going to dig themselves a hole they can’t score themselves out of.

Running on Fumes ~The San Jose Sharks were able to put up 4 goals and an empty netter on the Avs. However the underlying numbers suggest that Team Teal got outplayed overall. Colorado was able to outpace Team Teal in offensive zone time and scoring chances. The Sharks won this game on the back of Martin Jones and their ability to counterattack when the Avs got too heavy-handed in the offensive zone. However this gameplan is not a recipe for success for the Sharks

It wasn’t a typical game for the San Jose Sharks. For much of the season and playoffs Team Teal got the better of their opponents in shot share metrics. Their lack of possession and consistent looks at the opposing netminder could be indicators of a worn out team. This makes sense considering the Sharks just went through a hellish 7 game series versus the Golden Knights.

Relive the Greatest Comeback in San Jose Sharks History. light. Hot

This puts the onus on the coaching/training staff to manage minutes and rest time. The Sharks need to be careful considering the amount injuries and age of the roster. They won’t have much time to relax considering Game 2 is on Sunday afternoon at the SAP Center.

The statistics in this article came from unless stated otherwise.