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Quick Thoughts: Kane Living Up to Contract, Jones Is Back



Credit: NBCS Bay Area

Logan Couture has scored one goal in his last 20 games. Timo Meier is on a full-season 16-goal pace. Tomas Hertl endured a nine-game stretch early in the season with zero goals and three assists. Kevin Labanc has suffered nine-game and 10-game goalless droughts.

Luckily for the San Jose Sharks, this has been the most consistent goalscoring campaign of Evander Kane’s career.

Kane’s short-handed strike last night ended a five-game slump, his longest of the season. This also added to his team-high 17 goals.

If five games is Kane’s longest slump this year, it would be the finest season in that regard for the historically streaky scorer:

2019-20: Longest slump was 8 games without a goal
2018-19: 11 games
2017-18: 14 games
2016-17: 12 games
2015-16: 9 games
2014-15: 6 games
2013-14: 11 games
2012-13: 8 games
2011-12: 11 games
2010-11: 8 games
2009-10: 12 games

Also to Kane’s credit: There’s a lot of frustration about the San Jose Sharks’ big-money contracts, but the winger, perhaps more than any other expensive Shark, has lived up to his pact, which began in 2018-19.

Brent Burns (2017-18) enjoyed a couple Norris-caliber seasons during the first two years of his contract but hasn’t been nearly as productive since. Timo Meier (2019-20) has struggled since his new contract kicked in. Logan Couture (2019-20) has combined strong stretches with protracted slumps in the first two years of his new deal.

Let’s not get started on Erik Karlsson (2019-20), Marc-Edouard Vlasic (2018-19), and Martin Jones’s (2018-19) sharp declines.

On the other hand, Kane potted 30 goals in 2018-19, led the San Jose Sharks with 26 markers last season, and is on a full-season 69-point pace right now, which would be a career-high. He’s not a perfect player, by any stretch — his penchant for taking penalties, for example, is well-documented — but he’s been a relative rock for the Sharks.

“He’s a guy that always seems to have legs and brings that every night,” Bob Boughner offered, “he plays fast.”

As a value proposition, Kane’s only competition among San Jose’s significant contracts is Hertl (2018-19), who averaged a Point Per Game in 2018-19, earned his first All-Star selection last year, and save for his early-season slump, has been a consistent performer this year.

The question for Kane, as usual, is can he keep it up? History suggests that he’s due for a slow-down soon, but time might be in his favor with the San Jose Sharks down to 13 games left in their regular season.

Jones Is Back

It was nice while it lasted.

On Mar. 24, Martin Jones’s Save % topped .900 for the first time this season since opening night.

It wouldn’t last, but Jones stayed hot, and a week later, he was back above .900.

And after six starts, Jones kept his head above the still .900 water – that is, until last night, when the netminder stopped just 15 of 18 shots. He’s at .899 now.

Remarkably, over the last three years, this two-week, six-start stretch is Jones’s longest with a Save % above .900, besting Dec. 2019’s four starts over 11 days.

But unfortunately for the San Jose Sharks’ playoff push, it looks like the Jones that we’ve seen for most of the past three seasons is back:

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