The Pittsburgh Penguins Capture Second Straight Stanley Cup

Hazel Gray
June 14, 2017

"So to be able to accomplish it is a great feeling", said Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby, who won the Conn Smythe Trophy as most valuable player of the playoffs.

They did it in a rather unconventional way, and in a change from what we saw from them last season they were a puck possession monster that steamrolled over every opponent and averaged 35 shots on goal per game.

There was an observation that the key to winning the Stanley Cup is not having an elite top pair and top line, but instead having a third pair and fourth line that will not burn you.

Crosby also became only the third man to win back-to-back Conn Smythe trophies.

Oh, well. He'll just have to wait until the first round of next year's postseason to add that entry to his already ridiculous resume.

"Last night was quite an impressive win in my books", said Paul Mason, who coached Crosby between the ages of 10 and 13. The Penguins are the first to do it in the salary-cap era.

In the first nine seasons they played together, Crosby and Malkin were playoff fixtures.

It appeared Nashville had taken the lead when Colton Sissons threw himself at a loose puck in the Pittsburgh crease and pushed it past Pittsburgh goaltender Matt Murray. The Penguins are expected to expose Fleury in the Vegas Golden Knights expansion draft later this month.

"I think this one was harder than previous year", said Rutherford.

"I think Geno comes to mind right away", Crosby said.

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Penguins coach Mike Sullivan, addressing his squad before the season, asked "why not" in terms of winning a second straight Cup.

At various points in the season - sometimes when the team was going through a particularly grueling stretch of schedule, sometimes when he was coming off an injury, sometimes when he passed another goals or points milestone in his career - Malkin would jokingly remind folks in the locker room that he's getting old.

"We're glad he's from Nova Scotia, and his family has been really kind to donate a lot of cool exhibits, including his world-famous dryer", Rainnie said Monday.

Congrats to Pittsburgh on a well-deserved championship.

"He's now one of the best to ever play the game", Penguins owner Mario Lemieux, a two-time Stanley Cup victor as a player, said of his former team mate.

Perhaps this will help: Given recent events, a case could be made for Malkin as the greatest Russian-born player in National Hockey League history.

"We know what we have to do and I think what we're going to take from this that we're going to have to be even better if we want to become champions". We just kept finding ways. When the bright lights came on, with the two days off playing a huge factor in providing life and health for Pittsburgh, Crosby put on his own personal Tour de Force and Malkin was right behind him.

This was the least talented of the six Penguins teams that made the Stanley Cup final, and it was less talented than the 1993 team, too.

To be sure, this Penguins team is full of great players and great stories, from Matt Murray backstopping his team to two Stanley Cups while technically a rookie, to Jake Guentzel's incredible postseason, to Phil Kessel arriving from a tough situation in Toronto to win two rings. The Ottawa Senators extended the Pens to double overtime in the seventh game in the Eastern Conference Final, and Crosby and Co. will nearly certainly face a team that is prepared to take them out.

The Penguins' Cup victory, though, went against conventional thinking in hockey and unconventional thinking also.

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