Penguins share Stanley Cup victory with their families

Andrew Cummings
June 18, 2017

Heading into the series, we knew that the Predators were at a disadvantage offensively against Pittsburgh, especially with Nashville's top centerman Ryan Johansen sidelined for the rest of the season due to injury. Crosby so wanted to taste victory after the defeat that he quickly hopped on a plane to the Czech Republic and helped Canada capture gold at the world championships. He and the Penguins never looked back.

Crosby just wrapped up a stunning and perhaps unprecedented two-year run - maybe the most dominant stretch in a career that's always been bound for the Hall of Fame.

Can the Pittsburgh Penguins, owners of back-to-back titles after vanquishing the Nashville Predators in the Stanley Cup Final, make it a three-peat in 2018? It appeared as though the penalty kill might cost the Penguins a chance to repeat.

Pittsburgh posted a 86.0 penalty-kill percentage in its first 17 playoff games.

More than 2,000 season-ticket holder equivalents were added in the days following the regular season ending in mid-April until the Final in June. In fact, the Preds were shut out in the remaining two games of the series. The 2016 finals feature Penguins and San Jose Sharks.

However, that wasn't the case.

Game 6 of the 2017 Stanley Cup Final delivered a 40.0 rating in Pittsburgh, according to NBC Sports. On Sunday in Game 6, the Penguins killed four, including a 5-on-3 shorthanded situation in a scoreless game late in the third period.

"You have a small window to play and have a career", Crosby said.

As usual, the National Hockey League officiating on Sunday left open the possibility for fans from both sides to have strong cases of conspiracy theories. Colton Sissons had a goal erased by a whistle 67 seconds into the second period.

The NHL referees had no choice but to disallow the score, but for the rest of the game, it appeared as though the referees were going to give the Predators the benefit of the doubt on every call.

Taking the sting out of Pittsburgh bringing home their fifth Cup in franchise history - which, let's be honest, virtually no one outside of Steel City and the NHL marketing department is happy about - is Hockey Night in Canada with an outstanding playoff montage soundtracked by the Verve's 1997 classic "Lucky Man".

"It stings", said Predators defenceman PK Subban. They were the lowest ranked seed in the playoffs, played their hearts out and made it to the cup final forcing a game six.

How about the two minutes of standing applause that led to Roman Josi scoring directly off a faceoff in Game Four as the Preds swept the Blackhawks?

The Pittsburgh Penguins were basking in the glory of their first Stanley Cup since 2009 at about this point a year ago, but Kris Letang already sensed Sidney Crosby looking ahead to future feats. Whether it was the player's first, second, or even third Cup, the Penguins didn't forget about those who made it all possible in the first place. Penguins assistant Rick Tocchet and Nashville Predators assistant Phil Housley are believed to be among the candidates, while Washington associate coach Todd Reirden is also in the mix.

Other reports by iNewsToday