Morning Free Association: Stanley Cup Final Game One Edition

Its starting. The last NHL series of 2015-16.

This is for all the marbles. And hard candy. Because that’s what’s inside the Stanley Cup. (It’s not talked about a lot)

Pregame drama

Also, Gary Bettman spoke about the Olympics & NHL Expansion.

The rosters and lineups appear to be as expected. Penguin Trevor Daley is an extreme long shot to play at any point in this series, and Pascal Dupuis had essentially retired some time ago. The Sharks have no injuries of note.

First Period:

The period starts out with a fair amount of back and forth skating, but the shots are not really coming. A high-sticking penalty by Dainius Zubrus (Cousin of Thorinus Zoakenshield) puts the Penguins on the first power play of the game. They don’t score, but they do get 4 shots on goal in the 2 minutes, and start to press more consistently.

There was a little consternation among the sports journalists that Brent Burns is not on the bench for a bit, but I assume he merely had to run out to turn down the flame on his moonshine still, since he reappeared promptly.

Now, the Penguins are attacking with speed and are giving the Sharks defence all sorts of trouble. The Pens are able to gain separation and enter the offensive zone with three+ attackers on multiple occasions. This results in 2 goals, one minute apart.

First, Bryan Rust snags a mishandled bounce from a Justin Schultz shot attempt, and puts it into a wide open net.

Then Sidney Crosby makes a nice pass to Conor Sheary, who goes top-corner on Martin Jones, whose view is obscured by Patric Hornqvuist.

After 20 minutes, it’s 2-0 Penguins, with Pens leading SOG by 15-4, hits are fairly even at 17-16, San Jose. Each team has blocked 7 shots, San Jose has 2 takeaways to Pittsburgh’s 1. Giveaways are reversed, 1-2.

Second Period:

It had been looking like the flightless birds would easily waddle away with this game. But the Sharks move their skates a little better and an Ian Cole hooking penalty results in a power play for the Sharks. Tomas Hertl bangs a pass through Matt Murray, five-hole. It’s now 2-1.

The ice seems to be tilted in San Jose’s direction this period, as they are now dominating with 8 SOG to Pittsburgh’s 1 in the first 6 minutes of the period. Eventually, the Penguins begin to get their feet underneath them. But not enough to prevent this sweet wraparound score by Patrick Marleau.

A bit of chippiness occurs toward the end of the period with Joe Thornton and Evgeni Malkin performing some cross-checking and shoving. They would receive offsetting penalties.

The Sharks have tied it at 2-2, with 13 SOG in the period to Pittsburgh’s 8.
Hits were even SJS 10 – Pit 10
Takeaways SJS 0 Pit 4
Giveaways SJS 3 PIT 4
Shot Blocking SJS 4 PIT 10

Third Period:

The Third Period is a bit more even early on. Bryan Rust gets clipped in the head by Marleau, who gets 2 minutes for an illegal check to the head. Several people are calling for supplemental discipline. I just don’t see it.

Rust would skate reduced minutes in the Third.

The teams are trading chances now. At one point, Tomas Hertl creates some chances in front of Matt Murray, who scuttles out of his net like a hermit crab and squelches it.

The Penguins get several great scoring opportunities, but cannot finish them until this Nick Bonino goal.

Almost immediately, Ben Lovejoy hugs an opposing puck carrier (Marleau) while skating toward a man wearing stripes. Go ahead, kill that momentum. (Zoological note – I hear that stuff like this is why penguins lost the power of flight.) The Sharks would go empty net for a 6-on-4, but the Penguins would survive the onslaught.

Third Period shots were tilted 18-9 in favor of the birds, blocked shots 4-4, hits 10-9, Pitt.

Penguins win, 3-2, taking a 1-0 series lead.
sinister penguin

About IntentionallyWidenberg

Position: Power Forward.
Occupation: I am the Egg Man. Contrary to popular belief, I am not the Walrus.

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