PENGUINS WIN STANLEY CUP
Though Nashville gave them all they could handle, the Pittsburgh Penguins emerged victorious in the Stanley Cup final with a six-game conquest over the Predators.
The Penguins have won back-to-back titles, something that had never been done in the NHL’s salary cap era. The fact GM Jim Rutherford was able to build a winner around high-priced stars Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin without making quality-killing sacrifices speaks to the veteran hockey man’s excellence, though the players themselves deserve full marks, too. Consider that this was a Pittsburgh squad that played its entire post-season without No. 1 defenseman Kris Letang, lost all the way back in February to a neck injury.
Marc-Andre Fleury also brought heroics, taking over for starting netminder Matt Murray in Game 1 of the playoffs against Columbus when Murray got hurt during warmups. Fleury then went on to have his best post-season in years before Murray returned midway through Round 3 to seal the deal.