Cooley customer: Los Gatos native sets record as Sharks beat Seattle Kraken

Curtis Pashelka, San Jose Mercury News on

Published in Hockey

It’s fair to say San Jose Sharks goalie Devin Cooley is looking more comfortable in his NHL surroundings with each passing game.

Perhaps more than that, the Los Gatos native looks like he belongs at this level.

Cooley set a new personal record as a professional with a remarkable 49 saves Thursday — including 19 in a busy first period — in the San Jose Sharks’ 3-1 win over the Seattle Kraken, giving San Jose its first victory at Climate Pledge Arena in five tries.

Luke Kunin, Kyle Burroughs, and Fabian Zetterlund all scored and William Eklund had two assists as the Sharks won for the third time in the last seven games and avoided being locked into 32nd and last place in the NHL’s overall standings.

The 49 saves Cooley made are a record for any Sharks goalie in his first road win.

Coming off a 34-save performance against the St. Louis Blues last Saturday when he earned his first NHL win, Cooley stopped 33 of the first 34 shots he faced.

In the third period with the Sharks killing an interference penalty to Burroughs and the Kraken threatening, Cooley stopped a shot by Jared McCann, then stuck out his right pad to prevent Jaden Schwartz from scoring off the rebound.

Cooley is now 2-1-1 in his NHL career, all with the Sharks, who acquired the South Bay native from the Buffalo Sabres on March 8. He made his NHL debut on March 17 in Chicago and was in the net again six days later in a rematch at SAP Center. In both games, Cooley stopped just 52 of 61 shots for an unsightly .852 save percentage.

But after drilling down on some fundamentals with Sharks goalie coach Thomas Speer, Cooley has looked like a different goalie.


The 6-foot-5 Cooley told this news organization last week that Speer has emphasized, “using my body more, using my size and just filling space and not having to be so reactive and creating all these extra holes for myself.

“Being efficient with my movement, having a more upright stance, which keeps me more mobile and more active and makes me look bigger too. Just starting to feel a lot more comfortable.

“I’ve had so many coaches say you’ve got to let the game come to you, let the game come to you. “What does that mean? How do I do that? And then (Speer) he seems to be the first one, to actually (show me) how to do it.

“We’ve just been hitting the reps every single day and I’m just getting more and more comfortable and I feel like he’s really taking my game to the next level.”

The Sharks were also credited with 15 blocked shots after the opening 40 minutes, as the Kraken dominated possession. Per Natural Stat Trick, Seattle had 16 high danger chances in the first two periods compared to the Sharks’ four.

Still, Kunin’s goal at the 8:06 mark of the first period, his 11th of the season as he tipped a Henry Thrun shot past Joey Daccord for a 1-0 Sharks lead.

Burroughs and Zetterlund scored even-strength goals 51 seconds apart in the second period, with Zetterlund’s goal, his 22nd of the season, giving the Sharks a 3-1 lead.

The Sharks, with a regulation-time loss, would have been locked into 32nd and last place in the NHL’s overall standings. They now trail the 31st-place Chicago Blackhawks by four points and have three games left to play, starting with Saturday’s home finale against the Minnesota Wild.

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