clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Penguins vs. Sharks: Chatting with San Jose about the Stanley Cup Final

Catching up with our friends at Fear the Fin about what is going on so far, and what might be yet to come, in the Penguins and Sharks matchup

Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

To check out part one of my conversation with Jacob, you'll have to go to Fear the Fin.

Jacob: Speaking of looking ahead... let's move on to what's to come in this series. How much do you think the game will change in San Jose with the Sharks getting last change and home-ice advantage?

Jim: I'm not really sure it will change too much for Pittsburgh, the Pens don't usually run from match-ups, they almost always start the Crosby line on the road and challenge Sid to fight through the tough matchup.

Because, after that, nothing's going to change, then they'll play the Malkin line, then the HBK line, and sooner or later one of those lines is going to get a non top-4 D matchup.

To me, I think the biggest change will be the energy of the building, and also the Pens haven't played outside the Eastern time zone since January 18th (STL). Is that a factor? Maybe not, but who knows, maybe.

What about on the Sharks end?

Jacob: I think it depends on how much Peter DeBoer tries to line-match. It's an area he's improved in over the course of the season, and quite frankly the Sharks could use any edge they can get in this series. More importantly San Jose seems to have found something that works by moving Patrick Marleau back to the third line — if they stick with that I think we'll start seeing better results.

While the Penguins have won the last two games, and obviously looked quite good doing so, is there anything you want to see them change to get an even bigger edge in this series?

Jim: Execution could always be improved. The Pens process of getting the puck to the net has been very encouraging, but they've only scored 5 goals in 2 games, which while good, isn't as good as it could be.

Which totally sounds greedy to expect even more, but I'd like to see them hit the net more (and hey, who wouldn't?) And they haven't scored a 5v4 power play goal since Game 4 vs Tampa (5 games now) so getting something out of the PP could be a good way to help there.

Jacob: I wanted to ask you about that. What's the deal with the Penguins' power play? The Sharks' penalty kill is pretty bad and given the offensive stars on Pittsburgh I expected it to be...a little more lethal than it has been.

Jim: As we talked about pre-series, they're letting the puck do most of the work and the players are staying stationary for the most part.

Which isn't a recipe for success...But they're a streaky group who will score a bunch of goals in 3-4 games and then go cold for 5-6 games, with no real rhyme or reason for the ebbs and flows.

Jacob: What are they trying to accomplish on the power play? I know "scoring goals," obviously, but what's their go to move? With the Capitals it's get the puck to Ovechkin, the Sharks like to either get it up to Burns or give it to Thornton below the there a corollary for the Pens?

Jim: Unfortunately, no not really. It seems like they're trying to feed the puck to Kessel on the left-side, but his style isn't conducive to quick shots.

The Pens PP is usually best when it's Crosby, Malkin and Letang running it and looking for a shot by Crosby or Malkin from the right-side.

But with all the firepower, sometimes it seems like they have so many options that they don't have a default "play or "guy" and decide to look for the pretty pass and perfect play to each other.

Jacob: Who coaches the Penguins' power play? I know in the past if the Sharks went more than a few games without a power-play goal it'd be "fire (insert power play coach here)!"

Jim: At the beginning of the season it was Rick Tocchet, but it's believed that Mike Sullivan has been more instrumental since coming on mid-season.

I'm not really sure what more the coaches can do, I chalk it up a lot to the players' execution.

Jacob: Fair enough!