Penguins are NHL’s version of “Strength in Numbers”
The Pittsburgh Penguins are a franchise that reaches the Stanley Cup Final in pairs.
1991 and 1992, 2008 and 2009 and now 2016 and 2017.
“The last 2 years have been quite a ride. We’ll try to do it for another 2 weeks,” Game 7 overtime hero Chris Kunitz said of the Penguins returning to the Stanley Cup Final after Thursday night’s epic 3-2 overtime win.
The Ottawa Senators thanks to Craig Anderson overachieved in the Eastern Conference Final and came so close to delivering a shocking Ottawa – Nashville Stanley Cup Final but the Penguins once again just found a way to get the job done.
“This was a hard fought series and we knew it was going to be a hard fought series going in,” said Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. “Ottawa is a really good team. They’re not here by accident. They’re a really good team and they’re hard to play against.
“I’m proud of our group for the resilience that they showed throughout the course of this series,” Sullivan added. “The leadership has shown so much will to win. They look at this as a great opportunity to write their story.”
This has became a team whose roster is truly built on being “strength in numbers”.
How this Penguin blueline has got it done this postseason has shocked hockey folks around the league and maybe even this Penguin coaching staff if we gave them truth serum.
The Penguins are in the Stanley Cup without that pivotal franchise type No. 1 defenseman and you can argue they might not even have a true No. 2 defenseman in the lineup right now.
Game 7, Pittsburgh’s default No. 1 defenseman right now Olli Maatta in the eyes of assistant coach Jacques Martin was dreadful after the first period in the 2OT win and anything Ron Hainsey touched was either a turnover or an icing.
Yet, the Penguins held Ottawa to 29 shots in just over 105 minutes.
What stood out in Game 7 and late in the series being another example of just the depth this hockey club has, especially at the forward position.
Chris Kunitz was the obvious headliner but there were others who came through in the clutch Thursday night.
Conor Sheary sitting in the press box is where he deserved to be the last chunk of games based on his play this postseason but tonight he gets back in the lineup and plays a big role in the win. Someone in that coaching staff had to have had a feel on Sheary.
Gets elevated to the top line and delivers with an assist on the Penguins opening goal, 4 shots on goal and had the best possession numbers 5 vs 5 among Penguin skaters.
Sheary created a key play at his own blueline that lead to Kunitz rush goal in the second period and was gaining more confidence as the game progressed. He was backing up defenders with his speed and this was more regular season Sheary than the playoff Sheary we had been seeing.
Then there’s Scott Wilson.
A 4th liner, extra forward for much of the season, he’s now the Penguins second line left winger and had the fourth most ice time among forwards in Game 7.
Meanwhile, Jake Guentzel the star of the first two rounds, was on the 4th line and had the least amount of ice time among all Penguin players tonight, which was a bit questionable as he’s one of the Penguins best pure goal scorers and they needed a goal in OT, but still shows where if you’re not playing well, there’s options to plug another player in your spot.
Carter Rowney again tonight flashing excellent wall play and physicality with 7 hits is the type of flying under the radar play that continues to show how deep the Penguins are and how they can go in so many different directions with their personnel.
A guy like Carl Hagelin who was so valuable to the Penguins Cup run in 2016 is now mostly an afterthought and that’s a little bit on Hagelin but also a testament of the depth the Penguins have where others can pass you up quickly.
WE WANT THE CUP
— This is now seven consecutive playoff series wins for the Penguins as the franchise is four wins away from a fifth Stanley Cup and Sidney Crosby is on the cusp of doing something Mario Lemieux didn’t do in 17 seasons, win three Stanley Cups.
And if this group gets another one this season, their window remains wide open to win a couple more.
Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final was the Penguins 208th game over the last two seasons. This has been a group at times this postseason that has started to look fatigued but there’s no denying they started to find an extra gear over the last four games of the series.
Don’t count out the Penguins will and determination to push through against the Predators. For the first time all postseason, the Penguins have found their game.
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Pens players will be listening to nashville bound
From the road hammers
When they are traveling to Nashville
Nope. No they wont.
There’s no way.
So so bad at this. And by this I mean life.
Hey Sammich.. check out this list of Conn Smythe candidates
This was the big one “Subban has really excelled as a shutdown defender against opposing teams’ top forwards in the first three rounds.” – watching the boxscore hey? HAHA fucken tard
It should matter for you he is black and Democrat
“Everything Hainsey touched was an icing or turnover.” You don’t say. Give me Chad (last name I can’t spell) over Ron Hainsey
He is pens new scuderi.
Man – if sam agrees with you – then it must be true. Oh…wait.
Hey Sammich, what did you think of TK 2.0 last night?
Shut up wanna-be americann Sheary is new TK last i checkked and your hockey starts in april something something hot dog cart
Just saw a post from Ryan Whitney reminding everyone how the Pens got Kunitz. Kinda funny.
Yeah that was a good deal trading that fraud for kunitz. Only reason whitney was over hyped it’s because he is American as usual
The guy had a 60 point season before his ankles gave out on him. He wasn’t overhyped. You’re just an idiot.
Playing in Pittsburgh almost any one can look better than what they are. Sheary is another one trade this fool now and he will be like tk 30 year old and hockey over for him
He said with a straight face after the man in question exploded back into some good hockey thus nullifying all the B/S claims made during his slump.
Keep in mind this is a guy that made a case for Kunitz before the game without consideration that he hadnt scored since February (until a great game from him last night). Meanwhile Sheary, who went through his own slump, scored 6 goals over that same period… keep in mind he missed all of February too lol
Keep in mind sheary is younger then kunitz imagine he is 37 which I am 120% he won’t have a career that long in the league. And chubby how was he with his slump 2 goals in 26 games
Excellent point, meaning there is room for growth, not bad for a kid that was among league leaders in 5v5 points over 60
So apparently Bobby Orr called Gary Bettman after game 6 and said something to the effect of “you cannot allow the best player in the game to take that kind of abuse”. It’s crazy when you have so many bitchh and moan about Crosby being a whiner or whatever yet a legend of the game has to call the commish to make a statement like that. Crazy!
I have to say that I was quite surprised to hear the national coverage be so critical of the officiating last night. It shouldn’t have to come to this for change to happen but hopefully if Bettman gets called out publicly he’ll be embarrassed enough to finally do something.
The way I see it with preds having their 2 centers injured offense goes to pens side. Defense side preds all day. When it comes to goalies slightly I would go on rinne side. This series will all depend on the goalies performance and have more productivity from the 3rd and 4th lines
“This series will all depend on the goalies performance and have more productivity from the 3rd and 4th lines” I like it, vague and basically describes every game ever played lol. Both teams are quick, yes the Pens have a decided advantage up the middle vs a great top 4 blueline. What needs to change for these Pens is possession. They could be killed by this Preds team if they are not better with the puck than they have been most of these playoffs. They have been better as of late but there is a still a concern with the… Read more »
Jesus Christ shorten your posts Gaydogg.
Guess the circle jerk is over until game 7 this round…
Yeah but pens were pretty banged up from caps series now they are even more banged up since sens series they need to play some structured hockey and make sure 3rd and 4th lines are good since sid and geno line will be busy with preds defense. They have to make sure power play specialists come in handy when needed. Also sully can go back with hbk line just to confuse preds match ups. This all can happen once horny is back
All morning. I’ve been sitting here thinking…”Man, i wonder how sam sees it…”
Do you guys remember the NYR series in 2015 when Fleury was the best player on the team but Yoda bitched relentlessly because he got out played by Lundqvist while losing 4 games by a 2-1 score. I just found that entertaining with because of his new found excuse making for Murray when the opposing goaltender out plays him.
Up until fleury got replaced this series Vs sens he was by far the best player for pens. He beat 2 vezina goalies holtby and bob
Keep your incoherent nonsense off my posts!
I completely remember that. He also throws 2014 in the bucket with 2012, even though they made it to 3-1 in the series on back to back shutouts, with Sid having less goals in the playoffs than Brian Gibbons. Yogurt is our resident FRAUD. Allllll hail!