It’s no secret that San Jose has struggled in net for a significant period of time, but the young Barracuda goalie deserves a chance to combat those woes.
Josef Korenar has been in the Sharks system since being signed as an undrafted free agent on July 13, 2017. Ultimately joining the San Jose Barracuda at the start of the 2018-2019 regular season.
Since then, the now 23-year old Czech goalie has seized every opportunity available to him. He had a 0.911 SV% to go along with a 2.54 GAA, and 23 total wins in his first year.
His efforts resulted in an appearance for the pacific team in the 2019 AHL all-star classic.
After having a bit of a down year in the 2019-2020 regular season, he has returned to his old form this season.
Korenar is currently logging a .918 SV% and a 2.75 GAA to kick off the year. If that was not impressive enough, he has yet to give up a regulation loss.
At this rate, there is a reasonable chance that he will be back in the AHL all-star game this season.
However, with Alexei Melnichuk continuing to gain more time in net at the AHL level, it makes no sense to keep Korenar there as well.
Why not use this time as an opportunity to take advantage of the new wave of youth team teal has at the goalie position? In my opinion, he has more than earned the opportunity to at least get a start at the NHL level this season.
In Dubnyk’s last two starts, he has conceded a total of nine goals in what appears to be a concerning downward trend. As a whole on the season, he is giving up more than three goals a game and has accounted for .899 SV% that is mediocre at best.
For Jones, the last few seasons have been eye-opening in a very negative way. After being considered one of the premier talents at net, he has now devolved into one of the biggest liabilities.
His numbers continue to trend in a negative direction on top of that. In the last two seasons, he had a .896 SV% twice; this season, that number has dropped to a .890 SV%. Two seasons ago, he had a 2.94 GAA. Last season he logged a 3.00 GAA; this year, it is up to a 3.45 GAA.
Additionally, he has not had a single shut-out for the first time in his career through his first 17 starts in a season.
Bob Boughner and company cannot sit by and hope that things will get better in net when there are promising assets ready and waiting.
At the current juncture, the Sharks will not make the playoffs and instead be lottery-bound. But it is not too late for the Sharks to make a push and for that reason, is trying something different in Josef Korenar a bad idea?
I personally do not think so. The worst-case scenario is that he has a couple of poor games and goes back down to the AHL level to continue his development. In the best-case scenario, he might be the spark plug team teal needs.