The trend continued Saturday.
For a third consecutive game in the Stanley Cup Final, the Pittsburgh Penguins held a decisive edge in shots on goal over the San Jose Sharks, recording 42 shots on Martin Jones. It’s the second time in three games the Sharks’ netminder has faced 40-plus shots versus the Penguins.
In the end, it was the Sharks who prevailed in Game 3 with an overtime win with 26 total shots on net, as they avoided going down 3-0 in the series.
OK, it hasn’t been very close on the shot clock (though, the Sharks had more shot attempts Saturday, as per hockeystats.ca, while the Penguins had 38 blocked shots). But every game so far in this series has been decided by just one goal, with two games needing overtime.
Sharks coach Pete DeBoer has already answered questions about what his team needs to do to generate more shots on Penguins goalie Matt Murray.
His answer, following a Game 1 loss: “We weren’t happy with the number of shots. We weren’t happy with the quality of shots. We weren’t happy with the guys who didn’t get enough shots.”
DeBoer was again asked on Sunday about the differential. He offered a theory and took exception to any idea that the Penguins are dominating simply based on shot totals.
“One, they shoot from everywhere. They sling pucks from everywhere. You do have to look at quality versus quantity. I don’t think it’s as easy as looking at the shot clock and saying you’re getting dominated because they’ve got 40 shots and you’ve got 26. I don’t think the game is that simple,” said DeBoer.
“They get pucks to the net. We can probably do a better job of limiting that, getting in some more lanes. Historically during the year, we’ve been one of the best shot-blocking teams in the league. But they fire from everywhere, every angle, all over the place, then cause confusion around the net.
“We’ve got to do a better job. But does the fact that they have 30 more shots in the series bother me? Not as much as it bothers you guys.”