We have reached that point. Time to shine or time to wonder what if. We know one thing. The San Jose Sharks will come home tomorrow. Will the Pittsburgh Penguins have to fly to California as well? That’s where this presentation of professional men’s ice hockey.
Tomas Hertl will be out again tonight and barring this team getting it to a Game 7, it’s tough to be seriously hurt in a Stanley Cup Final. For Peter DeBoer, while he’s shortened the bench and jumbled the lines the last two games, the plan is to start with what he started in Games 3&4.
Karlsson – Thornton – Pavelski
Marleau – Couture – Donskoi
Nieto – Tierney – Ward
Zubrus – Spaling – Wingels
Vlasic – Braun
Martin – Burns
Dillon – Polak
Barring domination early and often, don’t expect these to remain the same. You could see Ward or Donskoi or Couture jump on the top line to try to generate scoring opportunities.
Top line needs to get going. Like the NHL on NBC Sports’ Twitter made abundantly clear, Joe Pavelski has no points this series. Joe Thornton and Brent Burns, who have been attacked by Hall of Famer Guy LaFleur on their appearance being a “disgrace for hockey”, need to figure out passing lanes to throw pucks on net to generate scoring chances. That’s more of a disgrace for hockey but hey way to attack how someone looks, Guy.
As for struggling players, we turn to Sidney Crosby who has no goals and two assists is gathering Conn Smythe Trophy talk. Which means Justin Braun is in the mix too with his two goals and containing Crosby, right?
What the Penguins are doing is extraordinary. Blocked shots are the key to making real Conn Smythe candidate Matt Murray has shut down San Jose. Pittsburgh has also clogged the middle of the ice which has limited the Sharks to perimeter passing and low quality shot attempts.
If San Jose can throw pucks on net in traffic, it’s been shown that Murray has a tougher time in traffic picking up the puck. At this point throw the sinks in the dressing room at him.
Make sure you join us for Pregaming With Pucknology this afternoon. And join us after the game for your interactive Sharks postgame show, Pucknology After Dark. We will be breaking down Game 5, prep you for Game 6, we’ll take your tweets and calls. It’s the show Sharks fans deserve!
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LET’S PUCKING DO THIS!