|Game 1: San Jose Sharks vs. Pittsburgh Penguins||Mon. May 30||Pittsburgh||5 p.m. PT|
|Game 2: San Jose Sharks vs. Pittsburgh Penguins||Wed. June 1||Pittsburgh||5 p.m. PT|
|Game 3: Pittsburgh Penguins vs. San Jose Sharks||Sat. June 4||San Jose||5 p.m. PT|
|Game 4: Pittsburgh Penguins vs. San Jose Sharks||Mon. June 6||San Jose||5 p.m. PT|
|Game 5: San Jose Sharks vs. Pittsburgh Penguins||Thurs. June 9||Pittsburgh||5 p.m. PT|
|Game 6: Pittsburgh Penguins vs. San Jose Sharks||Sun. June 12||San Jose||5 p.m. PT|
|Game 7: San Jose Sharks vs. Pittsburgh Penguins||Wed. June 15||Pittsburgh||5 p.m. PT|
Pre-Series Thoughts / Prediction
Prior to round 3 I was talking about the depth of Penguins and Sharks that would likely play the huge roll in each team advancing. That was the case. It is still the case in this Finals series. I think the Sharks definitely hold the edge here but before I get too sure of myself let's just take a look at some stats:
-Sharks have averaged more goals per game than Pittsburgh
-Sharks have allowed less goals against per game than Pittsburgh.
-Sharks have the better power play.
-Pens have killed penalties more effectively
-The Penguins have averaged more shots
-The Sharks have allowed less shots against per game on average.
-Both teams have played 18 games so far...
-San Jose has 38 more hits and 74 more blocked shots.
-Penguins have 49 less giveaways but have only 10 less takeaways
-In a stat that is truly quite overrated....the Penguins have a better face off winning percentage (50%) than the Sharks (46.8%). That 46.8% is the worst among playoff teams. Yea, so give it a rest, possession hounds.
This is more even than I thought. The Sharks have 7 forwards who have 9 points or more in these playoffs. The Penguins have 7. The Sharks' deadly 5 of Couture, Pavelski ,Thornton, Marleau and Ward have a combined 34 goals and 87 points. The Penguins' top 5 in Kessel, Bonino , Malkin, Crosby and Hagelin have a combined 27 goals and 75 points. Both teams have guys below these top 5'ers that have contributed. The next 5 best forwards on the Sharks have contributed 19 goals and 33 points. The next best 5 for the Pens have contributed 22 goals and 45 points. Well then...that makes my prediction far more difficult.
It appears most of the media is focusing on each teams' top 2 defencemen, where San Jose clearly has the edge. Burns and Vlasic have a combined 7 goals and 21 points while Letang and Daley have a combined 3 goals and 16 points. Daley may not be back in this series. I'll take Burns and Vlasic over Letang and Maata or whoever any day of the week.
Jones or Murray? Of course, goalie stats are mostly team stats, and if you look at the above team stats you may figure out that Jones' .919 save % and 2.12 GAA and 3 shutouts is better than Murray's .924 save %, 2.22 GAA and 1 shutout. But really though, this is quite a crapshoot and open for speculation. If Jones fails, the Sharks fall back on James Reimer. If Murray fails, the Pens can fall back on Flower. See an advantage there?
A Few Advanced Stats To Shit At You:
What the hell ever happened to NHL.com's 5 on 5 goals for/against percentage.?? That was an easy stat and I loved it. Guess I'll have to go to enhanced stats then.
-5 on 5 shooting percentage: Sharks 9.8%, Penguins 8%
-5 on 5 save percentage: Sharks .937%, Penguins .925%.
It appears the 5 current Penguins have won the Stanley Cup before. None of the current Sharks have. I can't believe it's been 7 years since Crosby or Malkin have won the Cup. Hopefully they never win one again wearing those crap jerseys.
Last chance for Thornton and Marleau it seems....
Let's go SHARKS!
So many variances in the variables here. I'll take the Sharks in 7. What say you?
This post first appeared on Vancouver Canucks Schedule, Roster, News, And Rumo, please read the originial post: here