Sunday, November 05, 2006

Sharks 3, Penguins 2

Wow. What a high intensity game. The Penguins did what they needed to - kept the Sharks off of the power play - almost. They took one too many penalties (they only took three that put them on the PK) , and the Sharks capitalized.

Conversely, the Pens power play couldn't get going. You could see how good the penalty kill of the Sharks was. The Pens were never really able to get a consistent flow going in the offensive zone, and when they did get chances, Toskala was up to the challenge.

Really, what the Penguins saw tonight was a blueprint. Here's what they saw:
  1. The Sharks finished off EVERY check, especially when fore checking. Remember what Petro said before the season about making teams pay a price to play the Pens? The Sharks did exactly that tonight.
  2. The power play was well spaced and lethal, and they moved the puck really well (the goal was off of a cross-ice pass).
  3. The penalty kill was even better - they knew where to trap and out worked the Pens in the corners.
  4. The Sharks employed a soft dump into the corners and then went in and thumped the defensemen. This is something the Pens should try, especially when they're playing a goalie that can handle the puck behind the net (like Brodeur) - Toskala was good at that last night.
In total, the Pens should endeavor to play more like the Sharks last night. I think they're close, but they're not quite there yet.

Next up: at Anaheim. It doesn't get any easier.

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