Stanley Cup Champion Penguins Receive Warm Welcome Home, Parade Planned For Wednesday

Penguins Players surround goaltender Matt Murray to celebrate winning the Stanley Cup

Penguins Players surround goaltender Matt Murray to celebrate winning the Stanley Cup

After Guentzel's spectacular start to this season (21 goals in 33 AHL games) and his quick transition out of college a year ago, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton head coach Clark Donatelli was not surprised to see the University of Nebraska-Omaha alum prove he belonged with Pittsburgh.

Hagelin iced the game with 14 seconds left when, with Rinne out of the goal in favour of an extra attacker, he scored into the empty net.

Crosby was named the most valuable player to his team in the playoffs on Sunday for the second year in a row after his Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Nashville Predators 2-0 in Game 6 of the final for their second straight Stanley Cup. "We shot it up right when it happened and I was able to finish on it with some adrenaline".

"It was definitely different but I was just happy I could at least listen to it", he said.

"I think people thought because I tried it, it was getting worse". The former grinder with 54 goals in 709 career National Hockey League games turned out to be the flawless conduit to get the Penguins to play fast and, to borrow Sullivan's pet phrase, "play the right way".

Game six of this year's finals pulled in Nielsen preliminary 6.47 million TV viewers and a 2.1 average rating among 18-49 viewers on NBC on Sunday.

The Penguins captain has earned three Stanley Cups, two Olympic gold medals, a World Cup title, a world championship and world junior title.

Penguins’ Captain Sidney Crosby celebrates with his family after winning the Stanley Cup
Penguins’ Captain Sidney Crosby celebrates with his family after winning the Stanley Cup

Crosby had eight goals and 27 points in 24 games of this playoff run, and it's Game 5 that may have swung the vote in his favor.

If it's not players still out there winning Cups - Cullen, Justin Williams, Andrew Ladd, etc. - it's the unbelievable volume of players from those teams who are now involved in hockey in some way, in front offices, on coaching staffs or in broadcast booths.

In fact, since 2009, the Penguins first Cup with Crosby, six of the past nine Stanley Cups have gone to either Chicago or Pittsburgh. Nashville challenged the goal for goalie interference, but it was upheld after a brief review.

The only other team to win three Stanley Cups this decade? "I think the biggest thing we've got to take from this is, remember the feeling".

Logic suggests that the Predators are much better positioned to make another run - or runs - at it in the coming years. The last team to win two straight Stanley Cups was the Detroit Red Wings in 1997 and 1998. He finished with a Cup Final-high seven points.

Crosby has spent most of his time playing between the likes of Pascal Dupuis and Chris Kunitz - solid players, but not Hall of Famers - and more recently young players like Conor Sheary and Jake Guentzel. He may never approach the untouchable point totals of Gretzky or the incredible goals-per-game figures of Lemieux. He was awarded Conn Smythe both times, but didn't have Crosby's regular season dominance to match with one of those two campaigns mostly missed with injury.

That's why the signature moment for Crosby in these playoffs wasn't any of his goals or assists.

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