Yes folks it’s true…the Pittsburgh Penguins have defeated The Big Red Borg. Resistance is NOT, after all it seems, futile!
Congrats to the Penguins…they earned this!
Max Talbot scored a pair of second period goals for the Pens and Marc-Andre Fleury turned away 23 of 24 Wings’ shots, and Pittsburgh skated off with Lord Stanley’s Cup with a 2-1 game-seven win. I wonder how much antacid has been sold in Detroit and Pittsburgh this past week?
Evgeni Malkin earned the Conn Smythe trophy, scoring 14 goals and a playoff-high 22 assists. He was nothing short of magnificent throughout the entire playoffs and the award was well deserved.
Sidney Crosby led the way with 15 post-seasons goals and chipped in with helpers on 16 others. The Penguins captain was limited to just 9:59 TOI due to an injury to his leg caused by a hit along the boards during the second period.
Now, I have to say that I found the Penguins’ victory over the Red Wings to be quite impressive. Here are a couple of things to consider as we remember the 2009 Stanley Cup Finals…
Pittsburgh had lost only once at home during the entire playoffs, going 11-1 prior to last night. That one loss took Anaheim two full overtimes and part of a third to accomplish the feat.
The Penguins had been outscored 11-2 at The Joe in games one, two and five.
Last Saturday the Wings whacked the Pens 5-0 in game five…chasing Marc-Andre Fleury from the goal during the second period after giving up all five goals. Fleury responded by allowing only two goals over the course of the next 120 minutes of hockey.
After that game-five beat down, Pittsburgh never trailed Detroit again in the series, getting off to 2-0 leads then holding on for dear life to win 2-1 in games six and seven.
Pittsburgh never held a series lead…except of course for the only time it matter. They trailed 2 games to none and three games to two. They just wouldn’t let Detroit close the deal.
And of course, there was the picture that was worth a thousand words… that of Marian Hossa sitting dejected on the Red Wing’s bench as he watched the team he played for last year lift the Cup that he’s been chasing. I wonder if he’ll now try to re-sign with Pittsburgh this summer?
Anyway, one of the sights that did indeed put a big smile on my face last night was when Mario Lemieux lift the Cup again for the first time since he and the Penguins last won it in 1992. Just a few short years ago the city of Pittsburgh was in danger of losing there Penguin franchise and Super Mario played a big role in saving them. I know the entire western Pennsylvania region must have enjoyed seeing that man hold the beloved trophy high once again.
And so, the 2008-09 NHL seasons comes to a close…and the Pittsburgh Penguins are the one’s standing atop the heap. Again, congratulations to them and their fans!
Now, we look forward to a very busy offseason…looking ahead to the NHL entry draft that will be held in Montreal less than two weeks from now. And with that comes the question of whether or not Evander Kane is indeed going to be selected by the Thrashers with the fourth overall pick.
Then UFA signing season begins less than a week after that…what are the chances of Don Waddell actually landing that top-six forward and/or top-four defender that so many are looking for.
And of course, once July 1 rolls around, we’ll also be watching intently to see if the team will be successful in re-signing Kaptain Kovalchuk.
Then finally, the fall will bring with it a brand new Thrashers season…and it just can’t get here soon enough, can it?