San Jose – No one from the Sharks coaching staff has come out and said openly that James Reimer is the team’s number one goalkeeper.
Instead, it’s Reimer’s stats that say it all.
Reimer, on his third start in his last four games, held 26 of 28 shots on Saturday in the Sharks’ 3-2 penalty shootout loss to the New Jersey Devils. He’s been in the net for all five points the Sharks have earned in their five-game home, helping San Jose keep their season on the rails with several players still stuck in the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol.
The Sharks have gone 2-1-1 since coach Bob Bogner and several players – including defenders Eric Carlson, Jake Middleton, Radim Simic and Mark Eduard Vlasic – made it onto the league’s COVID protocol list. Others now include attackers Timo Meyer, Kevin Labank and Matt Nieto.
Sharks received several noteworthy performances at the time, with Rymer at or near the top of the list.
After Saturday’s game, Reimer has a 0.946 save percentage, the second-best goalkeeper of the 39 NHL players who have played in at least five games. His 1.60-goal average was in the lead among all keepers in that category.
According to moneypuck.com, Reimer’s above-expected goals saved per 60 minutes are 0.765, which ranks 10th in the NHL.
“I feel good,” Reimer said now 3-1-1 this season. “In the season there will be ups and downs and it is important to keep working on it every day. You come to the rink with a goal, you have a plan that you want to get better at and every day, you put the work into it.
“When you do that, you can feel ready and confident when the games come along, and you’re confident and dependent on the work you do.”
Reimer is keen to stay busy for the next two weeks as the Sharks begin their grueling five-game run against playoff teams, beginning with Tuesday’s game against Calgary Flames. The Sharks entered Sunday in a tie for third in the Pacific Division with 13 points, four points behind the fire.
Reimer appears to have a good chance of keeping the net in Tuesday’s game and possibly beyond, as the Sharks continue the journey with matches against Winnipeg, Colorado. Minnesota and St. Louis.
Sharks’ assistant coach John McClain said of Reimer: “He’s played very well, and I’m sure he wants to keep playing too.”
Adin Hill has made a quick start to the season with a 3-0-0 record but hasn’t won in his last three games. Hill held 23 of 27 shots in the Sharks’ 5-3 loss to St. Louis on Thursday.
Dahlin start: Sharks winger Jonathan Dahlin’s third-inning goal on Saturday gave him a five for the season, and Detroit’s Lucas Raymond tied him to the top of the NHL among all-rookies.
Dahlin’s goal against New Jersey was his first of the season on strong play with his other four goals coming in strong.
It looked like it would be his third game-winning goal this year, and also gave the Sharks a 2-1 lead with 15:39 left in the third half. But New Jersey forward Jan Koukkanen scored in the 2:56th minute to go in regular time, and the Devils beat the Sharks 2-1 in the shootout to claim the win.
“Obviously, I wasn’t expecting this,” Dahlin said. “I play with great players and they help me a lot, so all credit to them. But it was hard to lose.”
upper coupling: Defensemen Mario Ferraro and Brent Burns continue to endure an icy amount of time with four regular defensemen on the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol roster.
On Saturday, Ferraro and Burns were on the ice for 31:12 and 30:29, respectively, for 65 minutes. According to statistician Darren Stevens, this was the seventh time in the history of the Sharks’ regular season that two skaters had more than 30 minutes of ice time in a single game.
Burns, at 36 years and 242 days old, became the oldest Sharks defensive player to score more than 30 minutes of ice time in a regular season game since Gary Sutter played 30:56 on January 23, 2002, against Detroit. Ferraro, at 23 years and 50 days old, is the youngest to have spent more than 30 minutes in a single match since he began tracking ice time in 1997-98.