2009 Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins
June 13, 2009 by Big Tony
The Pittsburgh Penguins defied the odds Friday night by defeating the Detroit Red Wings to win the franchises third Stanley Cup and first since 1992. The hero of the night was Max Talbot who scored both of Pittsburgh’s goals and had the Red Wings scurrying to keep up with him all night. It had been said that the Wings were going to be able to use their experience to walk all over the Penguins to win back-to-back titles with ease. What Pittsburgh showed Friday night is not only did they have outduel Detroit in a game seven, but for the second game in a row they showed more depth than the Red Wings from top to bottom. Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin were again both held without a goal and once again the Penguins showed they don’t need their stars to score in order to win. Malkin did in fact have an assist on this night propelling him to his 36th point and ultimately the Conn Smythe trophy making him the first Russian and only fourth non Canadian to win the Award.
One star the Penguins did need to come up with a huge game was netminder Marc-Andre Fleury and boy did he delivery. Fleury played arguably his best game of the series in game seven exercising all of his Joe Louis Arena demons in the process. Going into the game most felt that Pittsburgh needed a strong game from everyone on the ice to ultimately hoist the cup and that’s exactly what they got. Pittsburgh was sharper than Detroit from start to finish including the man who came to the Red Wings in the offseason from Pittsburgh in one Marian Hossa. It was the ultimate irony as Hossa not only did not win a Stanley Cup in Detroit but he lost to the team he left because he felt he’d have a better chance of winning as a Red Wing. Hossa was a ghost in the final series and perhaps the pressure to perform got to him, or maybe we’ll later on about an injury he was playing with but the bottom line is he left Pittsburgh last summer to win a cup and it was the Penguins who ended up winning the whole thing.
So congratulations to the Pittsburgh Penguins on their victory. This is a bunch of young guys who may find themselves in this position time and time again in the years to come. But for now, it is a moment for them to simply soak up and enjoy because despite their talent it is also something that may never happen again. Detroit will no doubt be back next year as they retool and get re-energized for next season, but for now the mountain top belongs to the Pittsburgh Penguins.