Penguins Hit the Road, Nick the Cup
Just when it seemed the Stanley Cup playoffs were odds-on to end after Game 5 and a big party was going to break out in the city of Pittsburgh, the San José Sharks spoiled the party.
So the Penguins did what they always do:
Just like the other three times they've won it.
That was the second win for Pittsburgh in the Shark Tank, which was obviously a major factor in claiming their first Stanley Cup since 2009.
Goaltender Martin Jones was spectacular throughout the series and saved 24 of 26 shots in Game 6. However, the Penguins limited his skaters to only 19, with Sidney Crosby leading the efforts to deny.
His four blocked shots accentuated how complete his game was in this series. Ironically, the only thing the Kid didn't do was score goals, but he was a presence everywhere else to be totally deserving of the Conn Smythe:
GM Jim Rutherford built a Cup winner in Carolina back in 2006 and, frankly, then went dark for a decade.
That's why it was a surprise when the Pens hired him. It's why eyebrows remained raised when the team got off to a poor start this season. But dude saw the deficiencies and made the adjustments, which included installing Mike Sullivan as coach in mid-season.
To be sure, Murray did his job between the pipes.
But Sullivan's system was designed to keep the pressure off him.
And then there's the dude who landed on his feet.
Regards from John Scott, by the way.
What a season! Scott had his moment in the sun, and now Kessel gets his.