The Stanley Cup Final starts Monday night and it's the San Jose Sharks vs the Pittsburgh Penguins. If you haven't watched a lick of hockey this postseason but want to have something to talk about, here's a list of relevant conversations starters.
Patrick Marleau and Joe Thornton - Both were stripped of their captaincy and still remain on the San Jose Sharks, both are playing in a cup final for the first time in their careers, and with a combined 2,778 regular season games played, they are the only pair of teammates in the NHL to have played that many games without ever making an appearance in the final. Wow. Worth it to stick around, eh boys?
Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Matt Murray - He's been playing outstanding hockey, and he's only 22 years old. This rookie goaltender has 11 wins under his belt so far this postseason. The last rookie goalie to have more than 11 wins in the playoffs was Carolina Hurricanes' goalie Cam Ward back in 2006. He's Conn Smythe material, I'm calling it right now.
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San Jose Sharks first ever Cup Final appearance - With a 5-2 victory over the St. Louis Blues in the Western Conference Final, the Sharks advanced to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in the franchise's 25-year history. The Sharks have a long history of postseason collapses with no one reason for blame. Since defeating the powerhouse Los Angeles Kings in the first round, the Sharks have kept their foot on the gas and plowed through each round since.
Bonino is back - Pittsburgh Penguins center Nick Bonino got hurt while blocking a shot late in their Game 7 victory over Tampa Bay. He missed practice both Saturday and Sunday but now is officially back in the lineup for Game 1 tonight. He centers a line alongside Carl Hagelin and Phil Kessel, which had been dubbed the HBK line... a combination of their initials and named after WWE wrestler Shawn Michaels - The Heartbreak Kid. This line will be vital to the Penguins push for the cup.
The Sharks Logo - Has anyone noticed that the Sharks logo looks like it's literally eating the Penguins logo?! If there were to be a sign from the universe predicting how this series will end up, that's it right there. Seriously though, look at it, LOOK AT IT.