SUN Hockey Pool

Jones isn't average puck-stopper

SCOTT FISHER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 12:06 PM ET

Goalies are known for being strange.

Some of them act as though they're from another planet.

But Calgary Hitmen 'tender Martin Jones seems to be the exception to the rule.

He's weird because he's not weird.

"Yeah, that's the weird part about him," Hitmen GM Kelly Kisio said with a laugh.

"He's one of the more normal, or sane, goalies I've seen in a while. He doesn't have many quirks."

Kisio, who played 13 NHL seasons, has seen his fair share of screwballs over the years.

"Some have more quirks than others," he said. "I didn't play with anyone who was really out there, but there are a few you look out the corner of your eye at.

"But as long as they stop the puck, they can do whatever they want."

And Jones certainly has been doing exactly that.

After setting a franchise record with 45 victories during the regular season, the Los Angeles Kings prospect has a 1.73 goals-against average and .917 save percentage to go along with his perfect 12-0 playoff record.

Jones said he just tries to keep his preparations simple.

"I don't have any whacky superstitions," Jones said. "I guess that makes me weird for a goalie. But I think you can get sidetracked with superstitions when you have to depend on someone else, or count on something going a certain way.

"I have my own routine, but I try not to worry about the petty things."

Hitmen head coach Dave Lowry is in his first full season as head coach behind the Hitmen bench and must be thankful he doesn't have a nutcase between the pipes.

"I've played with some guys who were fairly normal, and Marty certainly falls into that category," Lowry said.

"But there are some really different minds and makeups in the net.

"One guy I played junior with in the OHL -- I'm not going to name him -- but he wouldn't come outside the blueline in warmup.

"He had a bunch of quirks, but he was also nuts."

Jones is cut from a different cloth. He hangs out with teammates on road trips and fits in as just 'one of the boys.'

If you need proof, just ask veteran centre Brett Sonne, who rooms with Jones.

"He's pretty normal," Sonne confirms. " I mean, we get up to some shenanigans once in awhile, but he's a normal kid.

"He doesn't have any annoying superstitions, which is convenient for me, as his roomate, because I don't have to worry about intervening at home or anything like that."

But the Hitmen have had their fair share of goaltenders who were 'a little off.'

Dan Spence, the club's all-time winningest goaltender, certainly had his quirks.

He had to be the last player -- on either team -- off the ice after the pre-game skate.

Plenty of goaltenders seem to make a name for themselves off the ice. Jones, it appears, is determined to do it between the pipes.

SCOTT.FISHER@SUNMEDIA.CA


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