Pittsburgh Penguins – Stanley Cup Champions
The 7th final ended with a 2-1 away victory for Pittsburgh. A bit unexpected, since no team has won the game 7 on the road since 1971, and the 6 previous games in the final ended with home win!
Superstars Crosby and Malkin didn´t score in any of the last 3 games, instead the names of the heroes are Talbot, scoring both in the 7th game, and Fleury. Keeper Fleury made 23 saves and showed everyone that he can win a big game.
Crosby was hurt in the second period and did´t play much after that, and Malkin didn´t find the space he needs. But Crosby is the youngest Captain ever to lift the trophy. Malkin was the top scorer of the play offs and awarded the Conn Smyth Trophy as the most valuable player. He was the first Russian player to get that award and he has really made a great season.
The Red Wings were of course very disappointed, they were up 2-0 and 3-2 in the series and had a great chance to win their second consecutive title. Why didn´t Red Wings defend the title? They lacked a bit of their usual discipline and made some mistakes they had to pay for. Also, the team was a bit unlucky in the end of game 7 when Kronwall hit the bar and Lidström had the goal wide open but missed.
Another reason was the injury situation in Detroit with many injured keyplayers. One of them was Captain Lidström, who was just one of many playing despite injuries.
Pittsburgh had a strange season, as runner ups, they struggled to reach the play offs. With some weeks left coach Therrien was fired and Bylsma came in as the youngest head coach of NHL. The team found the spirit again and the rest is history.
My guess is that there will be some serious celebrating in Pittsburgh this summer…
You must say that Pittsburgh is worthy champions. Congratulations to the team and to owner Lemieux, the best player the world has ever seen in my opinion!