There is plenty of blame to go around when it comes to the poor season of the San Jose Sharks. First and foremost the Sharks’ GM Doug Wilson should be held most accountable. The SJ Sharks are one of the worst teams in the NHL and with the SJ Barracuda (10-15-0-2) last in their division, there is not much talent to draw from thanks in part to Wilson. Along with no or premature farm talent there is a problem with depth scoring, goaltending, and a plethora of long term/no movement contracts.
The worst example of this is Martin Jones‘ contract of $6.75 million for the year, where he is signed until 2024 with a no movement clause. What makes this contract so bad is that Jones is getting paid as a top six goalie with season stats as followed: 3.29 GAA (59th), .888 Save% (63rd), 0 SO (33 goalies have at least 1 SO), -16.07 GSAA (63rd), 8 QS (41st), .308 QS% (60th) [all stats rankings are from Friday morning].
All of these problems need to be addressed and there needs to be accountability. However, there are a set of people who have been a part of the problem who have not been accountable, the San Jose Sharks’ broadcast team. Today the SJ Sharks pre/post game broadcast team will be addressed in hopes of a change for the better.
Throughout the current 2019-20 season the broadcast of Brodie Brazil, Curtis Brown, Randy Hahn, Jamie Baker, among others have blindly defended, made excuses for, and produced misinformation for Sharks’ goalie Martin Jones. The majority of the time a goal was scored on Jones the broadcast gave an excuse for why that goal was not his fault.
Jones’ stats have been atrocious the entire season (and last year for that matter) but the broadcast continually provided misleading stats to give the appearance that Jones was a top goaltender. For example, when the NHL named Jones the third star of the week back in early December, they blasted it all over their social media and the broadcast.
What they failed to inform the fans was that this was only one good week and in that sole week, Jones played the last place LA Kings twice out of three games. Playing the last place divisional team two times clearly resulted in a padding of his weekly stats. For the week in question, Jones’ stats were a 1.98 GAA with a save percentage of .935 which was reported by the broadcast ad nauseam. San Jose Sharks color commentator, Jamie Baker, retweeted the NHL PR twitter account’s post of Jones’ third star award with the caption “In Jones we Trust”. What Baker and the rest of the broadcast failed to report was that Jones’ season stats at the time were as followed: 3.03 GAA (40th), .896 save percentage (44th), -7.85 GSAA (58th), 0 SO (27 goalies had at least one SO), .350 QS% (55th) while getting paid $6.75M (6th). As the reader can clearly see, Jones was no where near the top 31 on any of the meaningful solo stats as a starting goalie.
Jones was/is in the bottom of most of the important goalie stats while getting paid as a top six goalie yet the broadcast continually only reported Jones as a top franchise goalie. On Nov 29, around same time, the broadcast went as far as to dedicate almost the entire pregame coverage to how great of a goalie Jones is. The broadcast likes to boast the fact that despite Jones’ bad season last year he was a goalie that took the Sharks to the Western Conference Finals but this is again misleading. Let’s not forget during the first round of the playoffs against Vegas the Sharks were down 3-0 with about ten minutes left in the third period of game seven. If it wasn’t for a bad call from the referees and a miraculous four goals in five minutes plus another goal in OT the SJ Sharks could have easily had a first round exit. Jones gave up 25 goals in that seven game series with Vegas.
I was reporting a clear problem with goaltending, through my twitter account (@brian_ebbers), as far back as late Oct/early Nov. However, the broadcast continued to cover up the truth with misinformation and false narratives. It is easy to assume that through this misinformation and false narratives that the media did not feel the need to report on the terrible goaltending until early/mid Dec. It is impossible to fix problems if you are unaware you have any. The broadcast delayed the inevitable fix of the goaltending to the point that it might be too late to save the season.
As the voice of the SJ Sharks the broadcast has an obligation to the fans to report the truth and to speak out about the problems the team faces to put pressure on the organization to fix those problems. Instead, the broadcast has completely sold out to the higher-ups to become puppets of false narratives and PR stunts. The broadcast should be a place where fans can go to get trusted information but instead the analysis divulges into delusion. This doesn’t mean the broadcast is always wrong but it does mean the analysis should always be questioned. For these reasons I believe the broadcast should at least partially be held accountable. As a matter of fact, accountability is a theme the broadcasts promote but to the fans they have none.
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