Game 12: San Jose Sharks (6-5-0) vs Pittsburgh Penguins (7-2-2)
Gametime: 7:30pm PST / 10:30pm EST
TV: CSCA, ROOT
Radio: 98.5 KFOX
|2nd, Pacific||Div. Standing||2nd, Metro|
|5-5-0||Last 10 Games||6-2-2||Penguins|
|22.2% (12th)||Power Play||25.0% (5th)||Penguins|
|86.7% (6th)||Penalty Kill||79.5% (21st)||Sharks|
|27 (20th)||Goals For||31 (11th)||Penguins|
|27 (19th)||Goals Against||31 (12th)||Sharks|
Let’s get one thing out of the way: I like the city of Pittsburgh. My mom’s entire family is from Pittsburgh. My grandparents still live out there. Every year, I fly back to the Steel City for Christmas and spend time with my grandpa, a lifelong Pittsburgh Penguins fan who got me into hockey in the first place by making my mom promise her to take me to Sharks games when I was born in the Bay Area. I have nothing but respect for him.
But I just don’t like the Pittsburgh Penguins. I don’t care how many people in my family root for them. Watching Sidney Crosby win gets boring after awhile. Marc-Andre Fleury sucks. I don’t care how many car commercials he does, “Geno” is a crappy nickname for a guy like Evgeni Malkin. Outside of Phil Kessel, I’m hard-pressed to find anyone on the team that I actually enjoy watching.
After last June, many Sharks fans have a newfound hate for Pittsburgh. I don’t hate Pittsburgh, but I understand why many Sharks fans would. But whether you’re going to SAP Center, watching from home, or streaming it on your laptop while getting in fights with Kevin Kurz on Twitter, there’s something that every Sharks fan needs to accept and understand about tonight’s game with the Pittsburgh Penguins: it means nothing.
Sure, two points are on the line. Sure, the last time these two teams met in San Jose Sidney Crosby paraded his sweaty butt around the Tank holding a Stanley Cup. Sure, Sid then got on the mic at SAP Center and told the crowd that La Vic’s is better than Angelou’s. But a win or loss tonight doesn’t change any of that.
Like a bad college boyfriend, it’s time for the Sharks to move on and grow from the things that held them back instead of thinking of what might have been.
The last time these teams met, the Sharks played like they had seen an old college flame with someone new. They showed up and pretended seeing Pittsburgh with a Stanley Cup didn’t bother them.
When the game started, it seemed like they would make it through the night in control. But when the third period rolled around, the Sharks remembered the way it used to be. How special it felt to play in the Final. How important Pittsburgh made them feel, like they actually had a chance. Pittsburgh made them pay, scoring three third-period goals in a 3-2 comeback win. The Sharks went to back to their rebound, the Detroit Red Wings, who promptly shut them out 3-0. San Jose returned home desperately looking for answers.
Instead of bringing in Zooey Deschanel for a monologue about finding yourself before finding someone else, Pete DeBoer reorganized the team, putting the team’s second-leader in faceoff % Tomas Hertl on the third line, and the speedy Mikkel Boedker on the first. San Jose has surged to the top of the league in Corsi For % since the move. According to Kevin Kurz, Pete DeBoer has put Tomas Hertl back on the first line and Mikkel Boedker on the third, which essentially puts this team right back where they were two weeks ago when they lost 3-2 against PIT and 3-0 against DET.
#SJSharks lines today: 48-19-8, 27-39-42, 89-12-68, 83-50-57
— Kevin Kurz (@KKurzCSN) November 5, 2016
Like wearing your ex’s favorite shirt to a party you know they’re going to be at, the Sharks are setting themself up for a night full of mistakes.
Prediction: San Jose 2, Pittsburgh 0. Martin Jones gets his first shutout of the season, and Patrick Marleau douses Sidney Crosby in orange sauce.
Prediction: Pittsburgh 4, San Jose 2. The Sharks are going to lose this hockey game.
Pittsburgh Penguins Projected Lines
Carl Hagelin – Sidney Crosby – Patric Hornqvist
Chris Kunitz – Evgeni Malkin – Phil Kessel
Scott Wilson – Nick Bonino – Bryan Rust
Tom Sestito – Matt Cullen – Eric Fehr
Brian Dumoulin – Kris Letang
Olli Mattaa – Trevor Daley
Ian Cole – Justin Schultz
San Jose Sharks Projected LInes
Tomas Hertl – Joe Thornton – Joe Pavelski
Joonas Donskoi – Logan Couture – Joel Ward
Mikkel Boedker – Patrick Marleau – Melker Karlsson
Matt Nieto – Chris TIerney – Tommy Wingels
Paul Martin – Brent Burns
Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Justin Braun
Brenden Dillon – David Schlemko