Pucknology Game Day Report
The San Jose Sharks have changed locations traveling back home to San Jose but their situation remains the same it’s “do or die”. If they win they will travel back to Pittsburgh with a chance at immortality and an opportunity to drink from hockey’s holy grail. If they lose they will spend the summer thinking about being just two wins from their goal. For the Penguins, it’s their second opportunity to end the series after failing to capture it in front of their home fans in Pittsburgh seven years to the day they captured their last championship. The Sharks are still looking for their best effort of the series if we have not seen it already and for the sake of the Sharks chances I hope it’s the former. The Sharks have looked great in short spurts but the Penguins continue to look overall like they are the better team in the series. Make no mistake this quite the mountain the sharks continue to climb but when they’ve looked like they could climb no further in they have managed to find a way and for the sake of Sharks fans and even just hockey fans, in general, I hope they can do it one more time and force a winner-take-all game seven in Pittsburgh.
Keys to Victory
- Martin Jones cannot do this alone. Sure you can’t give Jones all the credit for game five after all Couture had himself quite the game as well but allowing your goalie to face more than 40 shots a game isn’t a recipe for success.
- The star players need to continue to be the star players for the sharks, Logan Couture might have had one of the best games of his entire career, Thornton looked good and it was nice to see Pavelski get on the score sheet even if it was an empty net goal. This might be wishful thinking but I’d love it if this was the start of a reawakening of the captain when the Sharks need him most.
- Peter DeBoer seems to keep dressing the same bodies and I’m fine with that… well as fine with it as one can be. All we can hope is that when the time is right that the bench is shortened accordingly.
- Finally, the Sharks need to realize that a lot of things are not going to be called in the game either against them or in their favor so they need to stop taking penalties that are automatic. A puck over the glass in the defensive zone and having too many men on the ice is going to send you to the box almost every time. Calls like this need to be avoided and when the Sharks do get their opportunities on the power play they need to take advantage.
Matchup by the Numbers (This Series)
|San Jose Sharks||Pittsburgh Penguins||Advantage|
|14-9||Playoff Record||15-8||Penguins lead 3-2|
|(1/10) 10.0%||Power Play||(2/11) 18.2%||Penguins|
|(9/11) 81.8%||Penalty Kill||(9/10) 90.0%||Penguins|
Sharks Projected Lineup
Donskoi – Thornton – Pavelski
Karlsson – Couture – Marleau
Nieto – Tierney – Ward
Zubrus – Spaling- Wingels
Vlasic – Braun
Martin – Burns
Dillon – Polak