REPRISE: YES THEY COULD. PENS WIN. STANLEY CUP CHAMPS
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Season preview tomorrow 8:20 am.
The following post is our recap of Game 7 posted at about 6:00 am on Saturday June 13th.
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 ConsolEngery 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.
We've gotten so many emails, we haven't even looked through. Post anthem pics in cblog
If you could just survive getting there, the opening faceoff brought the level of anxiety down.
It was a pretty pedsterain first 10 minutes. Both teams hitting and shit.
Pens get the first bounce when a puck lands on TK's stick.
The Wings defense bails out Osgood.
Things start to pick up. Everytime Detroit touches the puck, your life is a second away from falling apart.
But MAF makes a few little saves.
Kronwall takes the first big change when he tries to end Talbot. Too bad it put him out of position, and Brad Stuart was forced to take a penalty on Malkin who was flying up ice.
The Penguins set up the powerplay. And it was all business.
They didn't score but they dominated the entire two minutes.
The Wings started to surface as well.
KirkMaltby actually did something, but MAF made a brilliant glove save.
Tenk went nuts for the last minute or so. What a player.
Solid road period.
A minute into the second period, the Pens strike.
Malkin outsmarts Brad Stuart and cuts off a clearing pass.
It falls on Talbot's tape.
He first pumps to MAF after he goes through the bench high five.
There is some movement building that this play should have been an icing.
We'd screenshot that play, clearly proving that it is not. But the glare of the stanley cup is blocking our computers.
A couple minutes later, Darren Helm had a golden chance on MAF from the slot.
The puck heads the other way on Matt Cooke's stick.
Probably wasn't gonna score, but good that Rafalski rammed him into Osgood. And somehow the faceoff comes outside that zone. Bizaree.
Seemingly on the next play, Johan Franzen makes his first appearance of the series and obstructs Bing on the boards.
Looked harmless, but Sid drags himself to the bench.
Circle that play if you're Detroit.
Not only did you shorten the Pens' bench for the rest of the game, but you took out a marquee player.
Things should have been swinging in your favor.
Then things get worse.
The Pens have to kill some trash PP right after that.
Seriously, how do the Wings not score there, especially after crippling Crosby? What a chokejob.
Gill has a chance to lead a 3-on-1 rush coming out of the box. Yeah, not gonna happen.
As that play continued, the Pens get a 2-on-1 out of nowhere, with Max Talbot leading the rush.
By the time he got to the circles, you know he was shooting.
Chris Osgood's positioning:
The game had taken an unreal twist in about 5 minutes.
The Red Wings were completely bewildered after that, and it took a while for them to come back.
Finally, in the last few minutes of the second, they were coming in droves.
The Pens weather that storm. It was humongous.
The next 20 minutes were the longest 20 minutes in your life.
A couple minutes into the third, the refs decided to give the Wings a shot on a power play.
The Wings had their shots. Fleury had the saves.
MAF was brilliant. Pens didn't get a shot for awhile.
Tick tick tick tick.
Father Time makes his last appearance of the season. What a ride.
One of the Swedes puts in a shot from the point. 2-1.
It was meant to be.
The rest of the game was survivorblog, of course.
Kronwall nicking one of the crossbar. That's when you knew it was the Pens' day.
But the Red Wings did everything in their power to dispute that.
HenrikZetterberg was automatic on faceoffs.
Time dwindles down to six seconds.
Zetterberg wins it. Puck floats back. The shot gets through.
What was going through your mind when you saw that puck pop out and you saw a Wing bearing down?
Lidstrom had the world on his stick. But Marc-Andre Fleury, made the biggest save of his life sprawling to his right.
The Pittsburgh Penguins took their place in NHL history.
No words can do this moment justice.
The Wings could not believe what just happened.
If you were watching WXPI after the game, it was mess. Here is a soon to be instant classic:
"It has big taste."
Malkin is the first russian player to win it.
Somehow, this makes the last 17 years worth it:
Uh...Yeah. We have no idea.
Since the series came down to one game, gotta give it to Max Talbot.
Hell, he had 4 goals and 2 assists in the Finals.
Seems to be a logical choice.
Marian Hossa, without question.
Not even a goal in the finals.
PLAYER WE WOULDN'T MIND BEING A PEN
Darren Helm, sick.
We will have more today. Maybe. Still haven't slept.