Pacific Division #3 vs. Metropolitan Division #2
San Jose Sharks vs. Pittsburgh Penguins
This will be San Jose’s first appearance in the Stanley Cup Final. It has been long overdue with their current cast of players. Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau have been consistent cornerstones for the Sharks and they will be on notice for the Final. Brent Burns has been the one constant on the blue line. Martin Jones has been phenomenal in net with a fantastic defense in front of him. Joe Pavelski and Logan Couture are in the prime of their careers and are peaking at the right time. The Sharks have been the hottest team in these playoffs and they’ll be hard to stop.
Pittsburgh has been getting great performances out of the Carl Hagelin, Nick Bonino and Phil Kessel line. Kessel in particular, who leads the Penguins in total points for the playoffs. He’ll have to continue his aggressive style of play against a solid San Jose defense. Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin will get their looks, but Pittsburgh has been effective in this playoff run with their defense. The one key to that is if Kris Letang is on his game and gets good puck movement that leads to scoring opportunities. Matt Murray has been the story of the playoffs and he will be tested early and often by San Jose.
Players to Watch: F Joe Pavelski and F Phil Kessel
Who Wins: Sharks in 6 games