November 18th, 2015 by

Martin Jones backstops Sharks in win over ‘former’ team

Martin Jones backstops Sharks in win over ‘former’ team

For five days, Martin Jones was slated as the Bruins backup goaltender behind Tuukka Rask.

Acquired in the Milan Lucic trade to Los Angeles on Draft Day, along with defenseman Colin Miller, the prospect of Jones being a member of the Black and Gold was interesting, albeit for a brief moment.

Less than 80 hours later, Jones was told to pack his bags, again.

Just a day before the NHL’s Free Agency Frenzy, Jones was sent back to California. Bruins GM Don Sweeney traded the former backup to Jonathan Quick in exchange for prospect Sean Kurlay and a first round pick in the 2016 Draft. The very next day, Jones signed a three-year contract worth $7 million.

Not long removed from sending a tweet about playing in Boston was when Jones found out about the transaction. His memories from his time in The Hub were, well, short.

“I don’t really have any memories. It happened pretty quick,” Jones told reporters after the Sharks’ morning skate on Tuesday. “The shock of getting traded was still sinking in, so there’s not really much to tell here.”

Instead of reflecting on his brief time in Boston, Jones is focused on creating his own moments in San Jose.

For a guy who had done pretty well backing up two-time Stanley Cup champion Jonathan Quick in the City of Angels, Jones was hoping to make that next step into a full-time NHL starter. With the Sharks parting ways with Antti Niemi, Jones was thrust into the No. 1 spot between the San Jose pipes.

So far, he’s proving that he is capable of being a top-tier goalie. Entering Tuesday’s contest with the Bruins, the 25-year old was 8-5-0 with a pair of shutouts, a 2.11 goals against average and a save percentage of .923. Not bad for a guy who had 34 career games played before the start of the 2015-16 season.

In his “return” to Boston on Tuesday night, Jones allowed four goals on 29 shots. On paper, those numbers aren’t anything to write home about, but the 25-year old made some timely stops. From his glove save on Torey Krug in the first period — that kept the game tied at 1-1 at the time to his pad save on Jimmy Hayes early in the second — to keep the Sharks within a goal at 3-2 — and his save on Patrice Bergeron on a late Bruins power play in the third, Jones made the stops when it mattered the most.

Following the Sharks’ 5-4 victory, Jones’ teammates were quick to appreciate his effort in a back and forth contest at TD Garden.

“He’s a great goalie, you know,” said former Bruin Joe Thornton, who scored his third goal of the season at 9:21 of the second period to extend the Sharks’ lead to 5-3. “We probably let him down on a couple of those [goals], but when we needed it the most, he stood tall and, you know, he’s one of the best in the league.”

“It’s big. He’s been there for the whole season for us and like you said he had to make a couple of big saves for us again tonight,” added Patrick Marleau, who is now one point away from 1,000 in his career after scoring the Sharks’ go-ahead goal at 25 seconds before Thornton’s tally.

High praise from a couple of veterans and deservingly so for Jones. But did he get any ribbing from his teammates before the game for his short stay in Boston?

“We don’t do that around here,” Thornton chuckled.

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