The Penguins are the 2016 Stanley Cup Champions after a huge Game 6. This is the franchiseâ€™s fourth championship, winning in 1991, 1992, and 2009. Penguins captain Sidney Crosby was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as MVP of the playoffs.
Kris Letang scored the game-winning goal during a strong second period, setting the Penguins up to win 3-1. The Penguins finalized the best-of-seven series and hoisted the cup in the SAP center, having to celebrate on San Jose ice. Penguins fans got the chance to watch the magic unfold on the jumbo screen of the CONSOL Energy Center.
After the old tradition of post-game handshakes, Crosby got the captainâ€™s honor of being the first one to hoist hockeyâ€™s most prized possessions. He finished the Game 6 with two points and tallied 19 points in this seasonâ€™s playoffs.
The Penguins simple outplayed the Sharks in Game 6, holding San Jose to only two shots on goal in the third period. Penguins goalie Matt Murray made 18 saves to improve his record to 15-6 tying the record for most rookie playoff wins.
Being seen as â€œout of the playoffsâ€ in December, Pittsburgh became the hottest team in the NHL following the Winter break. Crosby and the rest of the teams hotshots finally began to score and goalie troubles were fixed when back-up goalie Matt Murray stepped up to the plate. The biggest change for the Penguins came on December 12th when the team experienced a mid â€“season coaching shift. Mike Sullivan replaced mike Joshnston as skipper of the Pens and from then on the team bean to shine. Pittsburgh became the sixth team in Stanley Cup history to win after a mid-season coaching change. The Penguins mounted a fantastic Cup run and are the undisputed champs, but
Although the Penguins are the official champions of the 2015-2016 season, we cannot forget the efforts of the San Jose Sharks.
The Sharks, in their first Stanley Cup Playoffs, finished the season as the runner-ups for the Cup, but their inaugural Finals appearance has put the Northern California team back on the map. The Sharks entered the2016 playoffs as the Pacific Division third seed behind Anaheim and Los Angeles, but outlasted their California rivals who went home early in the Conference Quarterfinals. The all-around skill of the Sharks gave them a shot at the championship and only shows that next year the team could be just as dangerous.
The 4-2 series win for Pittsburgh has given the state of Pennsylvania another Stanley Cup and each player now gets the opportunity to spend time with Lord Stanleyâ€™s cup.
The 2016 season has had so many ups and downs and has been quite an exciting drama to watch. Preparations have already began for the 2016-2017 NHL season, and we should start seeing free-agency moves soon.
Congratulation to the Pittsburgh Penguins on earning the NHLâ€™s highest honor.