NHL Stanley Cup: Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins win 2nd straight championship

Penguins captain Sidney Crosby was awarded the Conn Smythe (smyth) Trophy for a second consecutive year after finishing second to teammate Evgeni Malkin with 27 points.

Sullivan said that entering this season, he and his coaching staff predicted some of the challenges Pittsburgh would have in its repeat bid, starting with a short offseason after playing until mid-June.

Congrats to Pittsburgh on a well-deserved championship.

Olczyk: "The Penguins win without their best defenseman, and all of the injuries that they had, and all teams have injuries over the course of seven or eight weeks".

Pittsburgh had two close calls in the final minute of what was the best period yet of the Final series but were denied by Predators goalie Rinne and hit a post seconds later. Lots of emotion. Tomorrow, we wake up. "We did that, we knew it was going to be tough to get back here but we found a way", said Crosby. But if it wasn't for Rinne giving the performances of a lifetime I don't think they would have made it as far as they did, he deserved it more.

The Penguins' two-season run of excellence is a good thing for the NHL and bodes well for the league, even if next week's expansion draft, age, and an expected flat salary cap for next season will meld to guarantee this particular group of Penguins has a shelf life. "He carried us at different times of the season, carried us through two rounds of the playoffs, turned it over to Murray. We have such a young team, I think we gained a ton of experience from this run".

First going viral in the earlier rounds, the catfish made more notable appearances in the Stanley Cup Finals when one self-proclaimed redneck was able to sneak one into enemy territory for Game 1 and a well-dressed, bedazzled catfish taking the ice in Nashville during Game 4.

Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Matt Murray and Co. worked harder to win their back-to-back titles than any National Hockey League team.

Here's the most ludicrous thing of all: Murray led Pittsburgh to not one, but two titles as a rookie. Even the Chicago Blackhawks, three-time winners with a core of Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Duncan Keith hadn't managed to win in back-to-back years.

When Nashville finally put one in the net, it didn't count.

Sissons tapped the puck into the net 67 seconds into the second period behind Murray's back.

"You hear of any players that played with him and they all speak of him as such a great leader who works harder than anyone". At the end of the day, there are a lot of guys in the league that don't understand what it takes to get here.

"I knew Crosby was from around here and I also knew this museum was here", said Flaherty. So getting swept by the Boston Bruins in the conference finals, and scoring only two goals in four games, was a huge letdown. "I believe we have it in abundance in our dressing room". The Penguins won Game 5 in Pittsburgh.

In addition to back-to-back Cups and back-to-back Conn Smythe Trophies as the playoff MVP, Crosby led Team Canada to the championship in the preseason World Cup of Hockey and is a Hart Trophy finalist for the regular-season MVP along with the Oilers' Connor McDavid and Blue Jackets' goalie Sergei Bobrovsky. However, winning a third straight Stanley Cup is too much to expect. Greats like Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux - the players Crosby was considered heir to - didn't just win scoring titles and MVPs and Stanley Cups.

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