If the San Jose Sharks hope to make a deep run in this year’s playoffs, they will need to consider a solid goaltender to support their current no.1 Martin Jones. With the latest resurgence of the Anaheim Ducks, the race in the Western Conference has intensified greatfuly. With less than two weeks left before the trade deadline, the Sharks have been looking at their needs and assessed they will definitely be buyers. More so, with Anaheim’s winning streak currently happening. In looking of what could be their biggest need, they could be looking at a backup goalie.
According to Paul Gackle from the San Jose Mercury News, the Sharks don’t really have a backup goalie capable to sustain the playoffs’ pressure. Gackle notes the poor performance of backup Alex Stalock, who surrendered 5 goals on 22 shots against the Calgary Flames in a 6-5 shootout loss, last Thursday. For Stalock, that was his first start since 18th January. With a record of 2.94 goals-against average and a save percentage of .884, Stalock who will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, may not be the solution in key games down the stretch. In 2015-2016, Stalock has started in only 13 games for the Sharks and compiled a 3-5-0 record.
Despite average performances by his backup goalie, Sharks head coach, Peter Deboer continues to show trust in Alex Stalock.
“My trust level’s good,” DeBoer said. “You can see how important this guy is to the group, how hard they play for him. That’s a situation (on Thursday) where if they didn’t care about him as a teammate, they probably don’t battle back the way they did, so I think that’s a huge testament to what kind of guy this guy is.”
Next week the San Jose Sharks have three games in four nights and will play sixteen games over a 29-day-schedule. This stretch will call for the use of a solid goalie and the Sharks may look at the trade route to fill that need.
Not too many backup goalies are available on the market. This means the Sharks may be forced to acquire a goalie like James Reimer in Toronto or a Jonas Hiller in Calgary. Acquiring a goalie like Cam Ward is possible but may be an issue with the cap space general manager Doug Wilson has to deal with if he wants to acquire other depth players.
Calgary’s trading plan
In Calgary, the season is a disappointing one and the Calgary Flames general manager Brad Treliving, along with president Brian Burke will need to look at what the team will look like heading into next year. The Flames went into the playoffs last year and lost in the second round against the Anaheim Ducks. The future was bright and the high flying Flames were aiming for a similar season. A splashy trade and the signing of defenceman Dougie Hamilton made the future even brighter. October came and the season started on the wrong foot for the Flames. It seems like they never really recovered from the poor start they had.
Calgary has an excellent nucleus of players they can build around. Are the players still getting Bob Hartley’s message? That needs to be determined, once the season is over.
The Flames will probably put Kris Russell on the trading block, if they can’t come to terms with the defenseman. Part of a solid defenseman corps, the Red Deer, AB native Russell is looking for a long term deal from the Flames. In 2015-2016, Russell has recorded 4 goals and 11 assists for 15 points in 51 games played. Russell is definetly on “teams’ radars”. Teams like the Washington Capitals, Anaheim Ducks, Dallas Stars, Tampa Bay Lightning and the Florida Panthers will be kicking tires on Russell.
Jiri Hudler is another player that could be offered by Treliving to a team in need of offence. The 32 years-old veteran has played in 48 games this season recording a respectable 9 goals along with 23 assists for 32 points. he is only a minus -1 on a losing team, which represents a plus for other teams looking for third line offense.
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