The San Jose Sharks own a power play operating at 24.6 per cent in the playoffs.
But in five games of this Stanley Cup Final, which have all been close at least on the score board, they’ve scored only once with the advantage.
The Pittsburgh Penguins have, for the most part, dictated the play at five-on-five in this series, yet the largest margin of victory in any game has been two goals. As the Sharks look to force a Game 7, at some point they will need a contribution from their power play, which hasn’t been successful since Game 1.
For the Sharks, it hasn’t been the lack of success on the power play that’s been the big problem. It’s the lack of opportunities.
Just 10 opportunities in five games. The Sharks feel the onus now falls on them to earn more chances on the power play, as officials have, in the hockey parlance, let the two teams play.
“It goes in waves. I think we haven’t had as many opportunities as we have some other series. You don’t get in that rhythm when you go long stretches without one and then get one,” said Sharks head coach Pete DeBoer.
“We got to keep moving our feet, keep trying to draw penalties. I think there’s penalties out there. They’re letting the teams play. So we’ve got to attack more holes, you know, find a way to draw some more penalties to get in our rhythm. I think when we’re getting power plays, we usually work our way into it. When we’re getting one or two a game, it’s tough.”
While the Sharks are looking to draw more penalties, the Penguins are in a similar situation. They’ve had only 11 power play opportunities in the final, scoring with the advantage in each of the last two games.