Stanley Cup Final 2016, Game 1, The Morning After: Let's play 60 minutes next time
Let's start with the bad news. The Sharks didn't show up until after the first intermission on Monday night and as such trail in their first Stanley Cup Final 1-0 after dropping a 3-2 decision.
A bit of bad luck in the breaking of Brent Burns' stick combined with a not-so-great play by Paul Martin allowed the Penguins to take a lead with fewer than three minutes to go and even a late power play couldn't bring the Sharks back.
That's the bad news.
The good news? San Jose played a great final 40 minutes and absolutely dominated the Penguins in the second period in much the same way Pittsburgh controlled the first. The Sharks killed all three of the Penguins' power plays and scored one of their own while nearly getting the best of the even strength play.
San Jose had the better of the even strength corsi after the first period (though just barely) and seemed to adjust well. While Pittsburgh dominated the forecheck in the first period, most of the Penguins' chances in the second and third periods came on rushes and few could be counted as truly dangerous.
Those scoring chances that rose to the level of dangerous? Martin Jones showed up to stop. Jones, despite allowing three goals, played incredibly for the vast majority of the game one proceedings. He posted a .917 at even strength and .927 at all strengths, keeping the Sharks in the game during the first period and making some highlight reel saves in the third.
The top line, after struggling in the first period, got going again in the latter stages of the game. They saw lots of ice time against Pittsburgh's fourth line, which I'm sure didn't hurt matters any, while Justin Braun and Marc-Edouard Vlasic struggled to contain the tenacious Pittsburgh forwards.
San Jose's top line similarly took it to the Penguins' top defensive pairing. Both Kris Letang and Brian Dumoulin struggled against Joe Thornton and company while that line also held serve at 5v5 against the HBK (Hagelin, Bonino, Kessel) forward group.
This series figures to be a long one, and a game one loss doesn't change that for the Sharks. If San Jose had managed to steal this one, and given the first period it would have to be considered theft, the Penguins would have quite a bit of soul searching to do. As it stands, the Sharks have a chance to get right back in this thing on Wednesday.