The Pittsburgh Penguins are the 2015-16 Stanley Cup Champions.
The game was very tight (again) and Jones was amazing for the Sharks (again). But, in the end, the Penguins were just too much to handle.
Appropriately, Letang scored the game-winner on an assist by Crosby. The two led the Penguins throughout the playoffs.
From there, the Penguins cruised to their Cup-winning finish.
One last time, here’s the read on the game chart:
Continue reading Stanley Cup Final Game Chart – The one where the Pens won the Cup
Last night, the Sharks climbed back into the Stanley Cup Final series, holding off the Penguins in Pittsburgh and forcing a game six back in San Jose.
San Jose stormed out early in the first, relinquished their lead, and then scored the 3-2 marker. That lead stood for the rest of the game as the Sharks relied on Martin Jones to do virtually everything else:
Jones made 44 saves in all as the Penguins won the all-situations Corsi battle 76-36.
That’s right. 76-36.
Clearly, this isn’t the kind of play that San Jose should rely on in the long-term. But, in a short series, anything is possible. After last night’s game, the series odds are still widely in Pittsburgh’s favour…just not as much as the Pens were favoured prior to the game.
Before the game chart, a few words on how the graph works:
Continue reading Stanley Cup Final Game Charts – Thursday, June 9
The Penguins inched even closer to claiming the Cup on Monday night, subduing the Sharks 3-1 in another tightly contested Stanley Cup Final match.
Pittsburgh received goals from Cole, Malkin, and Fehr and Kessel continued adding to his Conn Smythe case with two assists, including a slick feed to Evgeni Malkin in the middle of this vine:
Continue reading Stanley Cup Final Game Charts – Monday, June 6
The Stanley Cup Final resumed last night and the Sharks finally made some noise in a series that was slowly slipping away.
Scoring late in the third period at the tail end of a four-minute penalty to Nick Bonino, Joel Ward yet again showed why he was a shrewd pick-up for the Sharks this season. He crossed the blue line and launched a long blast that Murray should’ve stopped…but didn’t:
Continue reading Stanley Cup Final Game Charts – Saturday, June 4
The Penguins and Sharks faced off in game two of the Stanley Cup Final last night.
Much like game one, the Pens dictated the pace of the game, entering San Jose’s zone with regularity and speed and limiting the Sharks’ zone exits. Pittsburgh won the all-situations Corsi battle (again) and looked to be in total control, at least before Braun tied the score in the waning minutes of the third period.
Despite that blip in the march of the Penguins towards victory, Sheary secured the win early in the extra frame:
So, now what? Rinkstats paints a clear picture of just how bleak it is for the Sharks.
Though the scores have been tight, San Jose’s chances have almost entirely slipped away. Two wins on home ice are a must but, with the way Pittsburgh has dominated the puck in the first two games, the Sharks may be lucky to avoid being swept on home ice.
Before the game chart, the usual explainer:
Continue reading Stanley Cup Final Game Charts – Wednesday, June 1
The Stanley Cup Final kicked off last night with the Penguins speeding out to an early lead before the game evened out. Bonino sealed the win late, as the Pens secured the 1-0 series lead.
Bryan Rust’s post-season star continued to rise as the grinding forward scored another goal:
The game-winner was a crushing goal on a seeing-eye pass through an obstacle course that included former Pens defensemen Paul Martin.
This was a game that could easily have gone to overtime. The Sharks were close throughout the match. We’re in for an excellent series here.
Before the game chart, the usual on how to read the graph.
Continue reading Stanley Cup Final Game Charts – Monday, May 30
We’re finally here.
After eight grueling months, the Pittsburgh Penguins and San Jose Sharks will play into the beginning of their ninth month of hockey, vying for the Stanley Cup.
I’ve made predictions for each round based on a loose methodology – eyeballing and selecting based on monthly 5v5 Corsi differentials and expected goals for percentage (xGF%).
So far, the picks have turned out well. 12 of 14 picks have been correct (the two misses were the Red Wings and Islanders in round 1). Here’s a look at the Conference Finals predictions: NHL Playoffs – Pens and Sharks Look Good in Conference Finals.
Below is one last stab at my entirely unscientific, loosely statistical foray into prognostication.
Continue reading Stanley Cup Final – Penguins set to slide past Sharks
There was one game in the NHL playoffs last night. After a speedy, intrigue-filled Conference Final, the Penguins narrowly eliminated the Lightning. The 2-1 final score was a perfect end to a tight, back-and-forth between two exciting teams.
The Lightning now face some summer uncertainty. Will Stamkos move on? Has Vasilevskiy announced himself as the team’s new starter? With much young talent throughout the roster, there’s no reason to expect Tampa Bay to step back, especially in light of the team’s performance without their biggest star.
For the Penguins, the redemption tour continues. A new team under HC Mike Sullivan, the Penguins now have a chance to secure the Stanley Cup – few likely believed they’d get this chance early in the season.
Before we get to the game charts, a look at Bryan Rust’s two goals last night is a must. The new Pascal Dupuis was excellent when it counted most last night:
Before the game charts, a few words on how to read the graphs:
Continue reading NHL Playoffs Game Charts – Thursday, May 26
There was one game in the NHL playoffs last night. The San Jose Sharks seized a 4-0 lead, eventually beating the St. Louis Blues 5-2 and securing the team’s first even berth in the Stanley Cup Finals.
The Sharks looked to be in command for the majority of this series. We can verify this with the series-long Corsi chart after the game chart for last night’s match.
For the first time in 25 years, the San Jose Sharks will have a chance to win the Stanley Cup. Few times have been as good in recent years without getting their opportunity. The Sharks will be tough for either the Penguins or Lightning to handle.
Before we get to the game chart, the quote of the night came from Joe Thornton. Asked what the biggest difference was between this year’s team and last year’s, he said:
Shots fired, as they say.
The usual on reading the graphs:
Continue reading NHL Playoffs Game Charts – Wednesday, May 25
There was one game in the NHL playoffs last night. The Lightning squandered a golden opportunity to eliminate the Penguins. Pittsburgh roared out to a 3-0 lead, let Tampa Bay sneak back in to 3-2, then finished with two unanswered goals.
As part of the 3-0 build, Crosby showed that he’s still the most talented overall player in the game, recovering a puck, changing speeds to enter the offensive zone, sliding through two defenders, and finishing with deft accuracy:
Matt Murray returned to the net for the Pens, which was certainly the right call. Vasilevskiy continued to hold strong for the Lightning.
It’s worth noting that Bryan Rust sealed the win with a beautiful 4-2 goal. That’s right. Bryan Rust.
So, the series comes down to game seven in Pittsburgh. It’s a shame this series has to end at all – it’s been filled with the highs and lows that people hope for when they think of playoff hockey.
A few words on reading the graphs before we get to the game chart:
Continue reading NHL Playoffs Game Charts – Tuesday, May 24