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Two dudes blogging and podcasting about the San Jose Sharks, straight from sunny California.

post DOH 339 – No Answer For the Pens

June 1st, 2016, 8:54 pm

Filed under: podcast — Written by Mike

The Sharks drop the first two games of the Stanley Cup Final against the Pens, and seem outmanned for much of both games.  Yet, they were in both, and game 2 went to OT.  What can the Sharks do to turn it around?

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11 Comments to “DOH 339 – No Answer For the Pens”

  1. Harold says:

    It’s the Cup. Dudes should record after each game.

  2. DonkeyKong says:

    Dude needs to check his math. Both pens and sharks have played 18 games prior to finals. And if we count extra minutes (OT), the Sharks have played 57:02 to the Pens 20:12. Pens minutes may be more backloaded, but probably not gonna be an issue on them getting “tired”.

  3. Rosevelt says:

    Sharks are losing for so many reasons. 1) Little “jump,” look fatigued 2) Pens’ young guns / depth outplaying the Sharks’ similar players 3) Pens forcing Sharks to dump-chase 4) The supposedly weak Pens D outplaying the Sharks D 5) FTF, Kurz, and fans all pointed out after Game 1 that Marleau needed to go back to the 3rd line, but it took PDB until the 3rd period to make the adjustment 6) Sharks are not finishing their chances

    I thought the 4th line with Zubrus looked good in Game 1. Put Z in, Spaling out.

    Scary thing is, Pens can play even better than they have. i.e. We haven’t heard much from Malkin’s line and the Pens power play can ramp up. Pitt is thinking sweep.

    • James says:

      The Sharks are getting a taste of their own medicine. The Pens are rolling 3 lines, breaking out swiftly, the faster team, and playing possession. The spotlight is on DeBoer. He need to find a way to get his team’s identity back: fast breakouts, dominant top line, lethal power play, scoring first, and having fun.

    • Jerry says:

      The Dudes and posts here make great points. I see the series so far as the Pens beating the Sharks at their own game – playing a 3-zone puck possession game.

      The Pens forwards are aggressively forechecking (like Hitchcock praised the Sharks for) causing turnovers and disrupting the breakout. The Pens are particularly determined to keep the Sharks from making long stretch passes in the breakout, as we’ve seen Burns do all year. Then, they’re clogging up the neutral zone and denying a clean entry into the zone, forcing the Sharks to shoot in. No other postseason roster has had 3 lines that can keep this up against the Sharks, but the Pens do.

      How do you beat this? Fundamental breakouts (don’t skate it out, just make an outlet pass or clear the zone), carry the puck in the zone (don’t shoot in, be patient), make the Pens D work in their own end, followed by a more rigorous Sharks forecheck. To me, the Sharks look tired because they are bailing out for a change rather than going in for the forecheck. If we don’t see the Sharks making the simple play in their own end, entering the o-zone cleanly, and forechecking rigorously, they’ll lose Game 3.

      I really agree with the Dudes’ point about Burns. So much of the Sharks offense in the o-zone goes through Burns. The Pens recognize he shoots all the time, so they go down to block before he winds up. It’s on the Sharks coaching staff to tell Burns exactly what the Dudes said: mix it up by skating or passing. Keep the D guessing.

      More so than the other series, this one requires some coaching up and strategy changes by the Sharks staff. Bottom line is, we want to make this series about the Pens’ D rather than their forwards. That starts with the Sharks making fundamental plays on D and returning to a 3-zone game. Hopefully they are fresh enough to do so for 60 minutes on Saturday.

  4. Havoc says:

    Agree with all this, but I also think it’s pretty simple: the Pens forwards are just better than any rosters the Sharks have played. Plus the Pens are elevating their overall game. The Sharks look slower (tired?), unprepared, and outgunned.

  5. James says:

    What a game for the Sharks. The Pens are making the Sharks dump-chase and also blocking a ton of shots. The Sharks must gain the zone with the puck and then forecheck. That’s how they scored goals 2 and 3 respectively. Kurz has laughed off the idea of DeMelo playing but honestly, I’d suit him up. Polak is costing us a goal per game so far in the series. To me, the Pens still look like the better team, but if the Sharks big guns show up in the goals column (Pavs, Couture, Burns) that will change everything.

    • Havoc says:

      Kurz retweeted an option is dressing 7 D including DeMelo. That’s the only way I could see him getting into the lineup having not played since April 9. Hopefully Hertl is healthy. He’ll be fresh having not played 25 minutes like his linemates last night.

  6. Trevor says:

    I hate being right all the team. SJ has never had a lead in the entire series. As I predicted, the Sharks D was overrated, the Dillon-Polak pairing was a weak link, and the depth of Pens star forwards + youngsters is too much for the Sharks. The Hertl injury is devastating. The Pens will skate the cup in Game 5.

  7. James says:

    Disagree with the dudes tweet. This is a chance for the Sharks to show everyone they never give up. No one expects them to win G5. They should win it, no matter what happens in G6, demonstrating this team never gives up, no matter what the odds.

  8. Tyler says:

    The strategy seems to be dump-in, play the body, and shorten the bench. Head-scratcher considering that was the Rangers’ gameplan and they lost in 5. The Bolts had success rolling 4 lines, carrying in, shooting one-timers to avoid blocks, and D jumping in from the start not just in desperation time. You know, like the Sharks play 🙂

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