Crosby has proven to be a generational talent with so many clutch performances, like the golden goal he delivered at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver or the way he played in the final three games of this year's Stanley Cup final against the Nashville Predators. He's bringing another MVP trophy, too.
Two days ago, the Penguins captain, who will turn 30 this summer, added another notch in his championship belt by winning his third Stanley Cup.
Crosby's long-time agent, Pat Brisson, believes this two-year run of dominance has origins in the spring of 2015 when the Penguins were dropped by the Rangers in the first round. "There was probably a lot of people thinking the same thing".
Donatelli credits Pittsburgh head coach Mike Sullivan for finding the right ways to motivate each player and allow them to contribute, much like he did last season with National Hockey League rookies Conor Sheary and Bryan Rust. They had to initially defeat Columbus, the NHL's most improved team; then the Washington Capitals, victor of the Presidents' Trophy for most regular-season team points; then surprisingly obstinate Ottawa; and finally Nashville, the feel-good story of these playoffs.
The list of retired players who have won the Cup exactly four times includes some of the game's all-time greats - from Wayne Gretzky to Gordie Howe to Patrick Roy.
"I don't know that I've been around an athlete, not just a hockey player but an athlete, that is as driven as Sid is", said Sullivan, who played more than 700 NHL games before stepping into the coaching realm. "So you just want to try to make the best of it".
Nashville challenged the call for goalie interference, but the goal was upheld.
Carl Hagelin scored his second of the playoffs into an empty net at 19:46 to seal it.
"It's just exciting", he said. And it's not really that close.
All that was left was the celebrating.
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Another reason to give Crosby the trophy is the part he played in the emergence of rookie winger Jake Guentzel.
When Nashville finally put one in the net, it didn't count.
Nashville appeared to score early in the second period as Colton Sissons poked home a rebound sitting in the crease.
Yes, it would have been helpful if the Preds didn't go 0-4 on the power play, including a 5-on-3.
Sidney Crosby graces the cover of Sports Illustrated in regional June 15 editions of the magazine. And these guys did exactly what I hoped they would do: "They got us the Cup". "We're going to be back here again next year".
Penguins' owner Mario Lemieux to McGuire: "It never gets old to win the Cup, but this one was a tough one".
The Pittsburgh Penguins barely had started their celebration for winning their second consecutive Stanley Cup championship before Las Vegas tabbed them as favorites to capture their fifth time in franchise history in 2017-18.
And it's the second championship for Sullivan, who has yet to lose a playoff series since taking over after Mike Johnston was sacked. Sullivan is the first American-born coach to win the Cup not once, but twice.
Malkin may have led the league in playoff points, but at times went through spurts where he was unable to create offense throughout the course of the game.
He also becomes just the sixth player to win multiple Conn Smythes. He set a rookie record with two shutouts in the Final. Below is the top 10 markets for the entire series. This year's team - minus Kris Letang - was not as talented as any of those other four, but they were the toughest both mentally and physically.
"This is pretty insane", Cole wrote after the Sunday's Game 6. And besides losing one pivotal player after another during an excruciatingly long season, they were confronted by daunting odds. The ref blew the whistle while he was skating down the ice above the goal line, as opposed to directly behind the net where he is supposed to be while the puck is in the zone. Officials huddled, but the goal was not allowed.
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