San Jose badly wants to get into this series, Pittsburgh just won’t let them do it.
Two games into the Stanley Cup Finals, the Sharks haven’t won a game because the Penguins refuse to make a mistake.
I can’t imagine how frustrated San Jose had to be getting on that plane to fly 3,000 miles home from Pittsburgh, after playing their guts out and losing both games by 1 goal… two games they could have won and probably would have if, the Pens gave them any window whatsoever. They’ve just been way too disciplined and patient.
Right now the Penguins are like the pitcher who never hangs a curve, or makes any mistake at all. They’re just not giving San Jose anything to hit.
So many of these series aren’t won by the team with the best players, they’re lost by the team with the bad penalties. Pittsburgh just won’t go there.
San Jose has a badass power play, and Pittsburgh won’t let them use it. And you can see the frustration. Joe Thornton knocked Sid Crosby’s helmet off and crosschecked him into the boards. That’s a guy trying to incite a reaction. Thornton was Olympic teammates with Crosby, he knows he can hook him. And if not Crosby, then his teammates. Didn’t happen.
There was NO reaction. Pittsburgh just will not take the bait. And it’s awesome. Totally locked in and stone faced.
Right now San Jose could break Crosby’s beak with an elbow and the Penguins won’t retaliate. So center Logan Couture tried a different tactic- he lobbed a C bomb at The Kid.
After Crosby won 71% of the face-offs, including the one that directly lead to the game-winner, Couture called him a cheater. “He cheats. He gets away with that. He’s Sidney Crosby. He times them, and yet they don’t kick him out for some reason; probably because of who he is.”
Yeah or probably because every home team for the last 100 years has timed face offs and gotten away with it. That’s not star treatment. That’s standard op. The Sharks will do the same thing when they go home in Game 3. Couture knows that. This is him trying to pull a Philip Jackson and work the refs in the middle of a series.
It’s also a classic distress signal. We’ve tried outplaying them. We’ve tried outhitting them. Now we’ll try out complaining them and see if the refs can help us rattle them. Thing is, the Sharks have played really well. But the Penguins have played nearly perfect. It’s been a very competitive series, but unless the Sharks show up with something more than Cross checks and Cheating Bombs- it’s going to be a very short series.
This post brought to you by Jim Rome.