Martin Jones Evolution to Sharks No.1 and Stanley Cup Final
For a lot of professional goaltenders, the evolution to the NHL is filled with tactical tweaks and technical tightening.
For Martin Jones, the path from undrafted free agent to No.1 goaltender for the San Jose Sharks in the Stanley Cup Final moved in the opposite direction.
For Jones, the calming, positionally and technically sound approach that has been evident throughout most of his run to the Cup Final has been there since he was a teenager, skating with then Vancouver Canucks coaches Marc Crawford and Ian Clark and their goaltending sons after practice at Rogers Arena, where his dad ran the building.
For Jones, the evolution to No.1 NHL goaltender has been more about moving in the other direction, with less focus on the technical aspects of his game and more on the reactive elements. That includes spending time in the summer playing some of the more wide-open “shinny” style games that so many other NHL goaltenders avoid out of fear of building bad habits.
“As I’ve gotten older and my game has evolved I have gone more away from the technical side, which I guess is a little bit strange to say but it’s added a little more depth to my game, for sure,” Jones told InGoal Magazine for a feature story in the current May/June issue. “Having grown up with a lot of good technical teaching early in my hockey career, I do have that good technical base, and as my game has developed, it has gotten away from that and focused on learning the other aspects, like reading the play and making saves outside the box if you have to and just battling and competing.”
As Jones prepares to play for the Stanley Cup, his approach to the offseason may help other goalies who have already started theirs, so be sure to read the entire feature story on Jones evolution in the current edition of the magazine. It includes a tip and movement drill from the Sharks’ No.1 goaltender, as well as a poster that can downloaded for use as wallpaper on the desktop of your computer. You can read the entire story by clicking here or on the image below: