With their second consecutive Stanley Cup and third in eight years, the Pittsburgh Penguins are becoming a modern dynasty.
About 18 months ago, the Pittsburgh Penguins were in a bit of a funk. In December 2015, a head coaching change was made. Exit Mike Johnston and enter Mike Sullivan. After a bumpy start, the Penguins took off. Everything since has been golden for these Pens, including back to back Stanley Cup wins.
Last year, the Penguins entered the playoffs red hot and rode that momentum all to the Stanley Cup. This year’s playoffs could not have been more different. These Penguins were so banged up and their playoff road looked tough. Nobody would have faulted them for bowing out. But this team did not quit and now they are standing at the top of the hockey mountain again.
Legacies have been cemented forever. Crosby, Malkin, Kunitz, Kessel, and on and on. These guys are forever champions and nobody can take that away.
During these playoffs, there were occasions when people wrote the Penguins off and each and every time they answered the call and silenced their doubters. Game 7 in Washington? Marc-Andre Fleury pitches a shutout. Game 7 against Ottawa? A victory in double overtime. Even in this series when it was tied and the Penguins were coming off two blowout losses in Nashville. They found a way to overcome and win.
A Three Peat?
It’s just incredible to think about what these boys from Pittsburgh have accomplished. It’s not entirely out of the question to think they couldn’t do it again next year. The core of this team will be back again. Sure they will lose some players. It was revealed on Monday that Fleury had waived his no movement clause so he is likely to leave in the expansion draft next week. Matt Cullen might hang up the skates.
Despite all of that, nobody should doubt this team or Mike Sullivan. They just pulled off history, being the first back to back Stanley Cup champion since the Detroit Red Wings in 1997 and 1998. Quite impressive in the era of the salary cap and league parity. Why couldn’t they pull it off again?
I was at the Game 6 watch party at PPG Paints arena just like I was last year and one thing is for sure. Watching my team lift the Stanley Cup will never get old. Let’s do it again next year!