Back-to-Back Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins

The stomach pangs late in the third period last night weren’t from anything you ate. It was a knot of intense anxiety, placed there by a riveting Game 6 in Nashville. The game, deadlocked at double zeroes for 58 minutes and 25 seconds, appeared to be going to an inevitable overtime. But then, Patric Hornqvist, the role model for grit and toughness, jammed a rebound off the boards towards Pekka Rinne’s back and bounced it in for the game-winning goal. Our entire area collectively cheered, then sighed in relief. Carl Hagelin raced down the ice with an empty net and cemented not only the game, but a second straight cup, and the legacies of this version of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Sidney Crosby was awarded his second straight Conn Smythe Trophy for playoff MVP. But the big trophy was the one that everyone wanted. A special moment occurred as the players passed the fabled chalice around: Marc-Andre Fleury, who was every bit as instrumental as his younger counterpart in this run to the championship, bestowed the cup upon his heir apparent, Matt Murray. Murray, still technically a rookie, has now led the team to two cups in two years after an effort in Game 6 that will go down in legend as rivaling stories of Paul Bunyan. Fleury, who was drafted in Nashville by the Penguins 13 years ago in the same building, skated for what is probably his final time with the Penguins. Of all the moments during the last two months, one of the best was a bittersweet goodbye. But now we can say hello to another glorious summer spent with the cup. Lord Stanley, for the fifth time, Welcome Home.