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:
A couple of notes on reading the charts:
- the Corsi differential is based on 5v5 play and is score-adjusted, as per war-on-ice.
- players at the top (with bars extending to the right) posted positive differentials (good)
- players at the bottom (and to the left) posted negative differentials (bad)
- the colour of each bar represents the player’s time on ice (see legend at the bottom)
- each players individual Corsi For attempts are included in parentheses
- a player with a strong C +/- but a (0) for iCF didn’t directly contribute to his strong showing.
- a player with a weak C +/- but a strong iCF score (i.e. greater than 5) may have been hindered by linemates. Maybe.
- like any reasonable person, I don’t believe that Corsi is everything. But it’s a very important part of the everything.
On to the chart…
Fittingly, Sheary was the game’s best. He posted a Corsi differential of ~+15, which is excellent. Crosby, Schultz (again!), Kunitz, Malkin, Cole, and Rust all joined Sheary at the top. Thornton was best for the Sharks and his -usual- running mates, Pavelski and Hertl, finished as pluses as well.
Letang and Vlasic each registered 6 iCF, lots of TOI, and each finished near the break-even mark. Kessel launched 8 iCF yet somehow finished as a negative on the game chart. Remember, although the #HBKline is drawing rave reviews for their offensive output, they’re also giving up a ton of chances going the other way.
It’s difficult to imagine that Pens fans will mind. Still, it’s worth noting that Bonino, Kessel, and Hagelin are playing high-risk hockey with lots of chances for everyone, including their opponent, when the trio is on the ice.
Burns led all with 9 iCF and finished just slightly positive.
At the negative end of the chart, Tierney attempted to repeat his game-low performance from game one. Instead, Bonino stole the bottom slot, finishing with the game’s worst Corsi differential.
Take a deep breath – we’re not back until the weekend.
Penguins lead series 2-0.