Tonight in San Jose two teams who went to battle nearly five months ago to determine who could lift hockey’s greatest trophy, will be back at odds fighting for just two points. The Sharks and Penguins will match up in what should be an outstanding game of hockey, not only because of the recent history but the immense skill on each side. The Penguins have followed up their championship season with a great 7-2-2 start, while the Sharks have sputtered a bit at 6-5-0.
Each team has an incredible puck moving defenseman on the back end in Brent Burns and Kris Letang, and deep forward groups. They play very different styles, with Pittsburgh flying in straight lines down the rink, while San Jose prefers a slightly slower, possession based attack. They do both have great futures, with players like Tomas Hertl and Olli Maatta only starting to hit their true potential.
It may lie in the financials that these two teams diverge however, as the Sharks have a number of big name players hitting free agency this summer, while the Penguins are locked into long-term deals with all of their top guns. You might see these differences in different ways however, as the Sharks will have plenty of freedom once Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau move on, while the Penguins will have little room to sign another big ticket.
So tonight, when the two teams who dominated the hockey world last season come together, we ask you to decide which roster (not all the franchise perks that go with it) would you rather have, if you were building a team for this season and the future?