Last night in Nashville, TN, was Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final. The Penguins came in 1 win away from Back-to-Back Championships and their place in history. For The Predators, 1 win and they live to fight another game.
And at the end of the night,
— NHL on NBC (@NHLonNBCSports) June 12, 2017
Yes, they did it! For the 1st time in 19 years since the Detroit Red Wings in 1997 and 1998, we have a repeat Champion in The NHL. The Pittsburgh Penguins in taking Game 6 by a score of 2-0 over Nashville now have their 2nd repeat in their history. They repeated in 1991 and ’92 now add 2016 and ’17 to the franchise resume.
This is the 5th Championship for the Penguins since 1990, having won the Stanley Cup in 1991, 1992, 2009, 2016 and now 2017. You also add 22 playoff appearances, 11 – 100 point season, 4 – 50 win season, 9 Conference Final appearances to go with those 5 championships. What a 27 year run of success they’ve had.
This 2016-17 season saw a banner raising to start followed by a 50-21-11 = 111 point season. Along the way they sustains a number of injuries to the backend (The Defense-core). In the postseason, they started out with the Columbus Blue Jackets and beat them in 5 games. In Round 2, they faced Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals for a 2nd straight postseason. They lead the series 3-1 before Washington came back to tie it and then had Pittsburgh win it in Game 7. In The Eastern Final, The Penguins faced the Ottawa Senators and in a fine series capped off by 1 of the Best Game 7’s you’ll see, won the series an advanced to the Final.
Their opponent in the Stanley Cup Final was a Nashville Predators team that had its own storybook season. 41-29-12 = 94 points, the last team to get into the playoffs. What followed was quite a postseason run.
First, they faced off against the Chicago Blackhawks, the #1 seed in the West, and they became the 1st team in 24 years to sweep Chicago in a playoff series. In round 2, they took on another Division foe in the St. Louis Blues and beat them in 6 games. In the Western Final they took on Anaheim and won that series in 6 games despite losing Ryan Johansen for the playoffs in that series.
For a team that 10 years ago was in danger of relocating to Hamilton, Ontario, Canada and fans rallying to save the team, a trip to the Final was the fruit of their labors.
The 2 teams split the 1st 4 games of the series, before Pittsburgh stormed to win Game 5, and then in a brilliant Game 6 that was scoreless for 58:00, the Penguins score 2 late goals to win the game, the series and the Cup.
So here the Pittsburgh Penguins stand, now 2-Time Defending Stanley Cup Champions and have a rightful place in history. For The Nashville Predators, a high point is a storybook season, minus a fairy-tale ending but just the beginning of a bright future. Congratulations to both team but the night belongs to The Penguins.