Final Score of the Season:
Thoughts: It's always sad to say goodbye to hockey because it's a sport that I really anticipate and get so excited for during the offseason. I feel that sometimes I forget to cherish it enough when it finally does come around but then I get so focused during the season that I forget about other sports. I am sad that hockey had to end yesterday but at least it ended in a good way (sorry, Nashville fans).
It ended in a good way for both teams in how Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin both created a great era for their franchise and won their third with the team. We rarely see back-to-back wins in the modern era and only the best can do that. Also, Crosby was not the main star of the team because he had a great offense alongside him that stepped up at the right times. I cannot emphasize enough at how great it was to see rookie Jake Guentzel dominate in the playoffs. He went from being only a name that true Penguins fans would know to a household name that Jimmy Fallon even talked about (he did mispronounce the name, but he thought of him!). Guentzel did not break the record for rookie points in the playoffs but he tied it and will always be there for that. The team approach to the Cup from Pittsburgh was amazing to watch and it made them winning it all that much better.
Now, Nashville did a great job with everything that happened to them. They lost their best forward and a good amount of their goals but their amazing defensemen stepped it up and became even better at both areas. Pekka Rinne is still an elite goaltender and just had some rough games, but hey, he's elite not perfect. Not only did they play even better than they were predicted to but their fans became one of the most loudest in the NHL. The support that the entire city had for them was unreal and it is hard to match. The passion and love for their team proved how powerful hockey can be received in a 'non-hockey' market like the South. The road was not easy for them to stay in Nashville over the years, but it sure paid off this season.
Relive Pittsburgh's amazing victory through photos!
One century of this game and League is a wonderful milestone to celebrate. Let's hope to do this in the next century!