Harnarayan Singh, Hockey Night Punjabi’s excellent play-by-play voice, has become a sensation during the post-season thanks to his exuberant goal calls.
His repeated hollering of Pittsburgh center Nick Bonino’s name is a hit in the Penguins’ dressing room, Singh’s call of Sidney Crosby’s overtime-winner during the Eastern Conference final was European soccer-esque and he’s made almost every goal call that much more exciting. It was almost a given that something excellent would come from Singh in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup final, and it didn’t take long at all.
When San Jose Sharks defenseman Brent Burns scored 104 seconds into the game, Singh drew on his Simpsons knowledge to find the perfect tie-in, and he’s about to get some love from those who love pop culture crossovers: Read more
The Stanley Cup final is heading back to San Jose with the Sharks in a position to tie the series and force a seventh game. And even though it was the first game of the series in which Brent Burns and Joe Pavelski found the goal column, it’s Martin Jones who was the real star of Game 5.
The Pittsburgh Penguins, as they have throughout the playoffs, dominated the possession game Thursday night and put the Sharks on their heels for a good portion of the second and third frames. And were it not for Jones, it’s hard to imagine a scenario where the Sharks emerge victorious. The Sharks goaltender made more than a dozen big saves, and none was more spectacular than this lunging toe save on what looked like a sure goal for Penguins center Nick Bonino.
After receiving a cross-ice pass, Phil Kessel, who was a force all night, fired a shot that was blocked but bounced right back onto his tape. Kessel’s second shot was low and hard but was kicked away by Jones right onto Bonino’s stick. He immediately batted a backhand towards the net when Jones darted his left pad out to rob Bonino: Read more
PITTSBURGH – If the San Jose Sharks are going to come back from the near dead and win this Stanley Cup final – and with this group anything is possible – it is going to need carbon copies of Game 5 in Games 6 and 7.
Can it happen? Sure. Maybe Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Matt Murray’s bubble has burst and the Sharks have finally pierced his armor. Perhaps whoever is refereeing the next two games will have as terrible outings as Dan O’Rourke and Dan O’Halloran had in Game 5 Thursday night. It’s possible Sharks defenseman Brent Burns will continue to commit everything short of homicide and get away with it. (Whether that happens will be largely contingent on whether or not the officials continue their generally inept performance. That is indeed a very likely development.) Maybe Martin Jones bails his team out for 120 more minutes and wins the Conn Smythe Trophy. And finally, the star who flies under the radar on a team chock full of enormous personalities, Logan Couture, just might continue to be the best player on the ice.
PITTSBURGH – The Penguins had a chance to slay San Jose on home ice, but the Sharks had some tricks of their own and now the series is headed back to California. Even though Pittsburgh dominated the possession game, San Jose used opportunistic scoring to down the Pens 4-2. Perhaps most disturbing for Pittsburgh is how exposed the team’s inexperienced defense corps looked at times, particularly in the first three minutes when the Sharks staked themselves to a 2-0 lead.
Beards have become as synonymous with playoff hockey as lengthy overtimes and the Stanley Cup, but Montreal Canadiens legend Guy Lafleur thinks San Jose Sharks stars Brent Burns and Joe Thornton are going a bit too far with their facial hair.
While at the Bell Centre for the Guy Lafleur Awards of Excellence, ‘The Flower’ broached a number of topics from the Canadiens having a coach who can’t speak French to the heart-and-soul type player Brendan Gallagher has become in Montreal. And when talking about long playoff beards, like the grizzly look Burns and Thornton have taken on, Lafleur didn’t hold back.
“To me, to see the Sharks with the long beards, I think it’s a disgrace for hockey,” Lafleur said, via the Montreal Gazette. “I hate it. It’s not a good image for the NHL. I don’t mind a guy wearing a beard, but to his belly…enough is enough. The team’s managers should put their foot down.”
Lafleur added, laughing, that the reason the Sharks weren’t playing well was because they couldn’t see the puck through their beards. Read more
Peter DeBoer’s San Jose Sharks will be facing elimination — and the prospect of watching the Stanley Cup slip away — Thursday evening, and if reports are to be believed, it will make for the third game in a row that Tomas Hertl is out of the lineup. DeBoer isn’t about to rule Hertl out, however.
According to reports out of the Czech Republic, Hertl’s home country, the winger won’t be able to get back into action this season due to a knee injury, which would be the same ailment that kept him out of Games 3 and 4 of the series. Asked about Hertl’s status, though, DeBoer wouldn’t budge from his previous stance that the 22-year-old is day-to-day and could return at any moment.
“(There has been) improvement every day that I’ve seen him…I term him as day-to-day,” DeBoer said. “This time of year, guys find an inner strength and play with injuries. I mean, that’s just what these guys do at this level. I’m not ruling him out for any games.” Read more
Editor’s Note: On Monday, the Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the San Jose Sharks 3-1 to take a 3-1 series lead in the Stanley Cup final. The Sharks are now in a near-insurmountable hole, according to the NHL’s public relation department:
The one team that overcame the 3-1 deficit? The 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs. The Maple Leafs actually came all the way back from down 3-0, the only pro sports team ever to complete the comeback in a championship series.
From the 2013 THN book The Biggest of Everything in Hockey, this is the story of the biggest comeback in hockey history — one the Sharks are hoping to repeat.
It never happened before, nor has it happened since. And it very likely will never happen again.
Coached by Clarence ‘Hap’ Day, the 1941-42 Toronto Maple Leafs remain the only team to overcome a 3-0 deficit in the Stanley Cup final. They accomplished that feat because Day went totally against the coaching grain, and then some.
Take away Kris Letang, and what do you see from the Pittsburgh blueline on paper? Olli Maatta, the oft-injured youngster. Justin Schultz, who barely survived the Edmonton Ruin Machine after choosing the Oilers over the Ducks. Ben Lovejoy, a player GM Jim Rutherford openly admitted he shouldn’t have traded Simon Despres for last year.
And yet, this crew (plus Brian Dumoulin and Ian Cole) has helped the Penguins to within a game of the Stanley Cup, despite losing Trevor Daley to injury before the final even began. How are they doing it?