Hockey Headlines: Stanley Cup, Who Wants it More?

Are the Sharks Dead in the Water?

There’s only one series going on right now, so I can understand all the narratives and hot takes. It’s remarkable how the complexion of a series can change from game to game. And as it should, when we’re talking about the last two teams standing. But the swings from one side to the other have been a little exaggerated as we only sit two games in, with really nothing yet decided. Before the Stanley Cup Final began, the majority of NHL experts picked the Sharks to win the Cup. They have a deeper defence, and an unstoppable powerplay. Now that they’re in an 0-2 hole, some of those same experts are questioning if they can win more than a game. [USA Today]

(Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports)
(Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports)

The Penguins deserve to up in this series. They have been the better team for a lot of stretches, and deserve the praise their getting. But it’s being laid on a little thick with so much hockey left to be played. They took care of home ice, and now San Jose has the chance to do the same. The Pens aren’t without their flaws. Their powerful is absolutely horrible, and they can’t hold a lead to save their lives. Don’t expect for a minute that the Sharks are just going to lay down. Is there some merit to the notion that the Sharks inexperience in this spot is showing? It’s possible. They finally got over the hurdle of making the Final, and they certainly seemed blinded by the lights in game one. [Todays Slapshot], [Pensburgh]

But there’s a reason why this series is a best-of-7. The Cup isn’t won after two games. These are two great teams, two of the best the league has to offer. It’s hard to predict what will happen from here on in. But the way that such huge declarations are made from one game to the next is a little silly. Let the series unfold. There will be shifts in momentum and adjustments from both sides. Will the Pens put it out of reach, or can San Jose make it a series? If the Sharks win tonight, or even the next two, the talk will completely change. I am of the belief that the team who wants it more is going to come out on top. And that determination takes longer than a couple games. [Fox Sports], [Sportsnet]

In Other News…

Are there big changes coming up for the Rangers defence? [Full Tilt NYR]

Alex Steen will be out for a while following shoulder surgery. [The Hockey News]

Could Connor McDavid win the Hart Trophy next season? [Cult of Hockey]

Some of the Oilers young guns may be on the trade block. [Beer League Heroes]

Who will Edmonton protect in the expansion draft? [Oilers Nation]

On the phenomenon that is the overtime challenge. [Sports Illustrated]

Joel Ward, great player, great guy. [Globe and Mail]

And finally, the NHL pays tribute to Muhammad Ali. [NBC Sports]