Why Gordie Howe's name will be off the Stanley Cup next year

Why Gordie Howe's name will be off the Stanley Cup next year

There was an observation that the key to winning the Stanley Cup is not having an elite top pair and top line, but instead having a third pair and fourth line that will not burn you.

The six-game 2017 Stanley Cup Final featuring the Pittsburgh Penguins and Nashville Predators gained almost 20% in viewership over last year's event - also a six game final.

Both Nashville's Pekka Rinne and the Penguins Murray had been good at times during this series, but never in the same game.

Carl Hagelin sealed it with an empty-netter at 19:46, his second of the playoffs. The goaltending tandem will see change with Marc-Andre Fleury reportedly agreeing to waive his no-move clause for the expansion draft so that the Penguins can protect 23-year-old starter Matt Murray. Sidney Crosby is generally acknowledged as the world's best player, and for the second consecutive year was voted the Conn Smythe Trophy victor as the playoffs' top player. They won three Game 7s, including two this year, and swept exactly none of their eight series.

Penguins forward Chris Kunitz (KOO'-nihts) now leads all active players with four career championships.

Logic suggests that the Predators are much better positioned to make another run - or runs - at it in the coming years. He played the rest of the game but was not able to get back on the ice throughout the rest of the series in spite of his best efforts to will himself to do so.

Penguins captain Sidney Crosby was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player of the playoffs.

Forget a golden anniversary: The Penguins will cap their 50th season with their names on the most famous silver cup in sports - again. Nashville went through St. Louis and then Anaheim to the Final, where only captain Mike Fisher on the roster had ever played before. They were the lowest ranked seed in the playoffs, played their hearts out and made it to the cup final forcing a game six. That left the Penguins without their best defenseman, an excellent skater and a linchpin in the team philosophy of swift puck movement.

Crosby to McGuire: "We knew it was going to be tough all year, but we just tried to keep with it".

Earlier, Nashville had appeared to score early in the second period when Colton Sissons jabbed the puck home off a rebound.

"This is pretty insane", Cole wrote after the Sunday's Game 6.

The thing was: how do you win with those guys? All of Pittsburgh's Stanley Cup victories have come on the road - all since 1991, the most in the National Hockey League in that span. Crosby is a 2016-17 finalist for the Hart Trophy.

"It was definitely different, but I was just happy I could at least listen to it", he said.

"I was treating this as a once in a lifetime opportunity", Rinne said.

Crosby became the sixth multiple victor of the Conn Smythe Trophy since it was first handed out in 1965 and the third to win it in consecutive seasons, joining Philadelphia's Bernie Parent (1974 and 1975) and Pittsburgh's Mario Lemieux (1991 and 1992).

Crosby also is a more complete player than Gretzky.

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