So far, neither goalie has lost a game in the 2018 playoffs. Both leading their respective teams to a sweep in round one, Martin Jones and Marc-Andre Fleury have been on fire. These two goaltenders will meet in the second round which will be a lot of fun considering these two are currently playing at the top of their game.
The Sharks and Golden Knights will meet in the Western Conference Semi-Finals and both walk into that series undefeated. A large reason for why these two clubs are finding themselves without a loss is their goaltending. Jones and Fleury were brilliant in the first round and now the hockey world gets to see these two masked gladiators go head to head.
Fleury is no light task to take care of whether he is on the Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins or the expansion franchise Vegas Golden Knights. Playing his heart out with a smile plastered on his face every night, Fleury is the closest thing to a brick wall.
Marc-Andre Fleury handed the Los Angeles Kings a four-game sweep in the first round of the playoffs. In this series, Fleury got two shutouts and only allowed three goals in four games. With a .977 save percentage on 130 shots, it is difficult to get one puck past this man let alone score enough goals to win a game or four for that matter.
Fleury has had a lot of days in the sun with three Stanley Cups and one other Stanley Cup Final appearance beyond that. A career save percentage of .913 puts him towards the top of the list when considering the best goaltenders in the NHL and the Golden Knights were very fortunate to be able to pick him up in the expansion draft.
It is very probable that he will continue this run of near perfect performances deep into the playoffs as he has been to the summit many times before. There should be no reason for the Golden Knights to slow down especially when Fleury is playing the way he has been.
In the other net, Martin Jones is clearly no slouch either. In round one against the Anaheim Ducks, Jones had one shut out on 132 shots. Boasting a .970 save percentage after four games, Jones is entering the second round on the same level as Fleury.
Martin Jones led the Sharks to their first Stanley Cup Final in 2016 and obtained 14 wins with a .923 save percentage in a total of 24 games. Since then, he has been the go to goaltender for the Sharks and will be for a very long time as he signed a six-year contract extension on July 1, 2017.
Martin Jones has proven that he is a number one goaltender and can compete with any other goalie in the league. In my own opinion, often forgotten Jones is among the top goaltenders in the league and has that special ability of being able to single handedly steal games for his team. Going up against the offensive firepower of the Golden Knights for four to seven games is going to be a challenge.
Can Jones outlast Fleury? It’s possible but Jones is going to have to elevate his game in order to match the speed and potency of Vegas’ offensive weapons. In regards to what each goalie has to face, I think Jones has been given the tougher task in trying to stop the Vegas offense. Jones played very well in the first round but Anaheim’s scorers didn’t even show up.
Vegas will be ready to go and when their best players are producing the way they have all season, it can be a lot to handle. No doubt Jones will need all of the help he can get in front of him but if the Sharks as a team can neutralize Vegas’ threats, Jones could come out the victorious goaltender.
In the regular season, Martin Jones was 1-2 against the Golden Knights and the Sharks as team were 1-2-1 against Vegas.