The Pittsburgh Penguins, in their 50th season, have won their fifth Stanley Cup in franchise history. They defeated the Nashville Predators 2-0 in game six last night at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville. In doing so, they became the first team since the 1997 and 1998 Detroit Red Wings to repeat as Cup champions. It was the first game in the series won by the road team.
Matt Murray got the shutout win in the Cup clincher and Sidney Crosby was named the Conn Smythe Trophy winner as playoff MVP. Crosby also won the Conn Smythe Trophy last season. He had eight goals and eleven assists for 19 points in 24 games, coming back from a concussion suffered in the Washington series to lead his team to the Cup.
Former Predator Patric Hornqvist (who was traded for James Neal in 2014) scored the Cup clinching goal with just 1:35 left in the game as the teams had battled through a 0-0 tie for the majority of the game. Carl Hagelin scored into an empty net to top off Pittsburgh’s Cup victory.
Amazingly, the Penguins have never won a Stanley Cup at home. All five of their wins have come on the road. No Pittsburgh team has won a championship at home since the 1960 Pirates won the World Series there.
So, with the 2016-17 season in the books, we congratulate the Pittsburgh Penguins on a job well done. They endured the season through the tough Metropolitan Division – the toughest in hockey – and they persevered. There is no doubt that they had one of the hardest roads to the Cup in this year’s playoffs, defeating Columbus and surviving wars with Washington and Ottawa to get there. The Predators also gave them a run for their money and they overcame them.
Next, we look forward to the NHL Awards in Las Vegas on June 21 and the NHL Draft in Chicago on June 23 and 24 where the Devils will take center stage with the first overall pick. There is no secret that general manager Ray Shero is looking to build the Devils in the Penguins’ image. Here’s hoping the dividends are the same in the future.
Congrats again to the Pittsburgh Penguins and all of their players, coaches and staff.