San Jose Sharks: 3 driving factors behind the team’s recent turnaround

San Jose Sharks (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
San Jose Sharks (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) /
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San Jose Sharks
San Jose Sharks (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

1. Goalies leading the charge

Through the first month or so of the season, it was clear that the Sharks had a problem on defense — and that extended to their goaltending.

The Sharks would regularly fall behind early as they would suffer defensive meltdowns or goalie mishaps. Or some combination of the two. But during the Sharks recent nine-game stretch, their goaltending has been the thing carrying them to success.

Martin Jones, in particular, has been fantastic.

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Over his first 11 starts of the season, Jones finished just two of those games with a save percentage of .890 or higher. Since then, Jones has done so in five of his subsequent eight starts.

Unsurprisingly, the Sharks have won seven of the last eight games that Jones has started as the team continues to ride his hot streak. But it wasn’t only Jones stepping up.

After struggling over the early portion of the season, backup Aaron Dell silenced many of his doubters putting forth an incredible 37-save outing in the team’s 2-1 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights a few nights ago.

It was Dell’s first start in 19 games and he allowed just one goal on 38 shots for a magnificent .974 save percentage.

The Sharks have quickly become a defense-first team again as head coach Peter DeBoer has the team playing his brand of hockey. They’ve regained their identity and that’s been largely due to their fantastic goaltending and much-improved defense.

Next. San Jose Sharks show that early-season struggles are gone in win over Vegas. dark

And no part of the team has played more of a factor in their recent success than that.