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Wrapping Up The Stanley Cup Final

from Frank Seravalli of TSN,

Move over, Super Mario.

Mario Lemieux said Sidney Crosby “just might do it” when he passed the torch to his protege in 2006 and it’s official now: there’s a new emperor Penguin in Pittsburgh.

Crosby one-upped his former landlord, teammate and now boss when he collected his third Stanley Cup from commissioner Gary Bettman on Sunday night in Music City, giving his reign one more than Le Magnifique.

Now, with his legacy cemented by his unique blend of skill and will, the only question is where Crosby fits among the handful of greatest players of all-time.

continued

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

Why us? Or not again?

Nashville Predators had every right to be asking those questions after having another goal taken away from them in the Stanley Cup Final.

A second period goal — different from the coach’s challenge offside that cost them a score in Game 1 —  should have counted Sunday night.

It would have counted had referee Kevin Pollock not blown his whistle prematurely, costing the Preds an important 1-0 lead on a night when goals were so difficult to come from.

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More columnists below...

from Bruce Arthur of the Toronto Star,

What a game, this hockey. In the second period the Pittsburgh Penguins already felt like the next goal was going to win, because it was one of those games. There were chances both ways, sloshing and slashing back and forth, dead even. We’ve all seen those games, right? Next goal wins.

And then the next goal didn’t win. The Nashville Predators scored in the second period, a Filip Forsberg shot that Pittsburgh’s Matt Murray couldn’t handle, and as it dropped into the crease referee Kevin Pollock, in the near corner, blew the play dead before Nashville’s Colton Sissons could poke the puck in. He was blocked from the play, so the play vanished. Blown call, 100 per cent. Brutal call.

“It’s crazy how that’s not a goal,” said Nashville defenceman Ryan Ellis, who played 24:05 through extreme discomfort from an undisclosed injury. “This isn’t fun, to come all this way, play an extra two months for really nothing.”

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from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,

The Conn Smythe Trophy, awarded to the most valuable player in the Stanley Cup playoffs, gleamed as it sat on the table to Sidney Crosby’s right. Near his left hand, within easy patting distance, was the Stanley Cup. It had been polished to blinding brilliance Sunday afternoon but had become smudged by eager fingers and smooching lips in the moments after the Pittsburgh Penguins claimed it again with a 2-0 victory over the Nashville Predators that ended the Stanley Cup Final in six entertaining games.

It was déjà vu all over again for Crosby and for the Penguins, him winning the Conn Smythe two years in a row and them winning the Cup, making them the first team to win back-to-back titles since the Detroit Red Wings prevailed in 1997 and again in 1998. But it was anything but old hat for Crosby, who began this season in September by being chosen the MVP of Canada’s World Cup victory and ended his 105th game by skating around Bridgestone Arena with hockey’s biggest prize.

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from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,

When Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby raised the Stanley Cup on Sunday night, he undoubtedly did it the right way.

The Penguins embraced coach Mike Sullivan’s “play the right way” motto and conquered the Nashville Predators in six games to win the fifth Stanley Cup championship in franchise history. They won 2-0 on Sunday night as Patric Hornqvist scored the winner with 1:35 remaining in regulation.

With Crosby, the Conn Smythe winner in back-to-back playoffs, leading the way, the Penguins survived the loss of No. 1 defenseman Kris Letang, a mid-playoff goalie switch and two Game 7s against Washington and Ottawa. The Penguins became the first NHL champion to repeat since 1998 when the Detroit Red Wings made it two in a row with a sweep of the Washington Capitals.

When the Chicago Blackhawks won their third title in six seasons in 2015, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman referred to them as a dynasty.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Nashville Predators, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

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