SAN JOSE—The San Jose Sharks had a historic run making it to their first Stanley Cup Finals in franchise history, but came up short losing Game 6 to the Pittsburgh Penguins relinquishing Lord’s Stanley Cup to the Pens.
Who would have thought merely six months ago the Penguins were a lost team, with poor play resulting in their head coach getting fired. Now, fast forward, and Captain Sidney Crosby is hoisting the Stanly Cup yet again.
“I was just thinking about how hard it was to get to this point, just trying to enjoy every second of it,” said Crosby to reporters after the game. “It’s not easy to get here. Having won seven years ago at a young age, you probably take it for granted a little bit. You don’t think you do at the time, but it’s not easy to get to this point.”
Crosby assisted on two of the three goals for the Penguins. For his performance in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, he was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoff’s most valuable player.
“He’s a special player for a reason,” said teammate Chris Kunitz after the game. “He can adapt and change his game to different things. Early in his career he went out and got points and did everything, but that didn’t make him satisfied. He had to go out and lead through example and became a better player.”
After the Penguins won the Cup in 2009, it looked as though they could be a team that had a chance to win the title every year. The seven-year layover proves just how tough the NHL is and how difficult it is to repeat, or win multiple cups for that matter.
Penguins legend Mario Lemieux said of winning the Cup, “It’s so hard to win it year after year. For them to be able to come through this year and win their second Cup is big. Hopefully, there’s a few more for them.” Lemieux won back-to-back titles and Conn Smythe trophies during his career with Pittsburgh.
During their playoff run, the Pens knocked off the New York Rangers in the first round, eliminated the President’s Trophy-winning Washington Capitals in Round 2, and then came back from a 3-2 series deficit against the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Eastern Conference Finals.
During the finals, Pittsburgh looked like a team in control as they did not trail in the series until Game 5 at home. In the Game 6 clincher, Pittsburgh staved off a rally from San Jose and held the Sharks to just one shot on goal during the first 19 minutes of the third period to preserve their one-goal lead. An eventual empty netter would seal the victory and send the Stanley Cup back to the Steele City.