The journey that Lord Stanley's Cup took after Game 7:
Forever and ever, the last 16 seconds of this game will play in our minds.
With every passing year, as brisk fall nights turn into winter wonderlands, the Fleury save will become bigger and bigger while Talbot's goals will be replayed in driveways all across Western PA.
This Stanley Cup championship could not have come at a more glorious time for the Pittsburgh Penguins.
It's only fitting that a banner will be raised in Old Lady Mellon's last season.
A banner that will read: 2008-2009 Stanley Cup Champions.
And then, two years from now, when you are relaxing in that new Consol Engery Center,
you'll put your souvenir cup in an unreal cup-holder and look to the rafters.
And that banner will still be there.
10 years from now you'll take your kids to a Penguin game.
And that banner will still be there.
And when those same kids end up taking YOU to a game when you're a 96-year-old joke,
you'll use the last ounce of energy in your life to look to the roof.
And you will remember.
You will remember...
Settling in for those back-to-back games in Sweden.
Penguins toiling in mediocrity, 6 points out of the playoffs with 25 games left.
A mid-season coaching change, bringing in some no-name coach.
Subtle trades near the trading deadline.
Not knowing which MAF would show up every night.
Facing off against your two most bitter rivals in the first two rounds of the playoffs.
Exorcising demons to win the Stanley Cup in Game 7.
Every season from here on out, you can look back at that 2008-2009 feather in your cap and realize that if you got through that season, you can face anything else the game of hockey will throw your way.
As the silver chalice was raised by Sidney Crosby, we raised our own cup and toasted general manager Ray Shero. The English language hasn't evolved enough for us to put into words what Shero's steadiness at the helm has brought to this team. We're not even going to try.
As for Game 7 itself, Max Talbot has put himself into the YouTube Hall of Fame.
The Red Wing Killer finished what he started in Game 5 in Detroit last season.
Once that second goal beat Elroy, the Wings simply fell into the Pens' hands. They started bringing all their shit; Zetterberg taking 2-minute shifts, Lidstrom logging 80 minutes of ice time. When osteoporosis had the game on his stick with 2 seconds left, all of Detroit wished he hadn't logged 27 minutes of ice time up to that point.
But it didn't really matter. Marc-Andre Fleury wasn't letting that puck in. MAF erased all doubts surrounding him being a "shaky" goaltender. Ask a Red Wing what they think of Marc-Andre Fleury now.
Better yet, just ask this guy:
For us to make it this far without mentioning Marian The Magician means the Pens drinking his tears from the Cup in the post-game locker-room celebration is simply icing on the cake. Every journalist and person with a keyboard outside of Pittsburgh said the Pens could not win without Hossa. But Penguin fans who have watched these past two seasons knew what Hossa brought to the table for the three months he was here and knew he was expendable.
Gloating in the face of Detroit fans seems ridiculous at this point.
When you win the Stanley Cup, your focus shouldn't be on anything else.
They know they were beaten by the better team.
The Red Wings didn't lose this Cup. The Pens won it.
One last jump, homos.
Stanley Cup Champs forever.
pics as we get them.
We love you all.
Series Tied 3-3
Joe Louis Arena
The Stanley Cup is going to be won tonight.
After everything that both of these teams have been through, tonight is the end of the line.
The Pittsburgh Penguins have not been this close to a Stanley Cup in 17 years.
Sidney Crosby was four years old.
This is one game.
Winner take all.
The hopes and dreams of two franchises and their fans are on the line tonight.
If you need someone to get you hyped up for this game, you're probably dead inside.
If anything, you probably need calming down.
And welcome to the biggest day of our hockey lives.
Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals is like every time you have sex.
You never know when you'll be there again.
24 hours from now, we may be standing on the Birmingham Bridge.
Or we may still be partying on Carson Street.
Regardless, as soon as that Cup is raised, Penguin Fever,
that feeling only hockey fans can feel during a playoff run, will disappear.
A new message
"There is a dry-erase board in the Penguins' lounge area in Mellon Arena that generally lists information about practice times and sites, flight times and other such mundane matters.
There was not a single word written on it as the Penguins were preparing to head to the airport for their mid-afternoon flight to Michigan.
Nothing but a photo of the Stanley Cup, with a Penguins logo and the message "Yes, We Can" emblazoned on it."
We (Derek, Adam, Rick, Stephen and Charlie) wanted to say thanks to everyone.
For the comments. For the e-mails. For the links. For the photoshops.
For bearing with us as we made the switch to the Bloguin Network.
Ladies and gentlemen, it's been a privilege flying with you.
Thanks for checking the site out.
Thanks for spreading the word.
Thanks for printing out signs and plastering them everywhere.
It was the season of Carrot.
The season of animated .GIFs.
The season of E_NOLOGIN_ACCESS.
We will be back full throttle for the 2009-2010 season.
We aren't going anywhere.
After the jump, there's more reflection.
Time to look at the biggest plays of this playoff run.