After getting outplayed for much of Game One, San Jose is confident they will bounce back with a better effort in Game Two.
On Monday night, the San Jose Sharks tip-toed their way into the Stanley Cup Final while the Pittsburgh Penguins jumped right in. The result was a dominating first period performance by Sidney Crosby and his teammates as they raced out to an early 2-0 lead.
San Jose was staggered. They looked engulfed by the spotlight.
But the difference with this team teal group is they immediately responded. Martin Jones did a tremendous job of keeping his teammates in the game early, and they came out and punched right back at the Penguins.
While they eventually dropped Game One in crushing fashion, there were some positives to be taken from their performance.
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The first is San Jose knows they can play with this Pittsburgh team. When the Sharks were able to establish their game in the second period, they did a nice job of hemming the Penguins in their own zone.
Also, while it was a disappointing to see them begin the game in that fashion, team teal was just one shot away from stealing that game. They were far from their best, but still right in the thick of things in the waning minutes.
Now that San Jose has had a taste of Stanley Cup action, they know what to expect. The Sharks players talked about how they were a little shell-shocked in the early going, but know they will be better when Game 2 rolls around later tonight.
The Sharks have done a great job of bouncing back after tough performances throughout these playoffs and are confident they will do so again.
San Jose is 5-1 following a loss in the postseason, including a big Game 2 effort against St. Louis last round when they dropped a hard-fought Game 1 of the Western Conference finals.
Team teal can draw on that experience and know they don’t need to panic.
As Brent Burns noted after the game, the Sharks made the Penguins better by turning the puck over and fueling their rush.
If San Jose cleans up their play coming out of their own end, they should be able to attack Pittsburgh with much more effectiveness.
The Sharks have been a resilient team throughout this postseason and know what kind of effort it will take to earn a split on the road. San Jose will need their best players and leaders to set the tone early and let Pittsburgh know they won’t be able to steamroll them like they were in the early going of Game 1.
With their initial foray into the Stanley Cup finals behind them, team teal can now settle in and get back to work. They were outplayed in the first game, but the Sharks have an opportunity to respond tonight when the puck drops for Game 2.