Penguins Win Pennant

This is Syl Apps, Jr. He was part of the early “expansion” Penguins who could score some and they left a little too. Before Mario, the Penguins were a strange little team that never really won a thing. Greg Polis would win a car at the All-Star game, they’d run a tremendous offensive line out most years (Apps-Lowell MacDonald-Jean Pronovost, they called it the “Century Line”) and they’d be good for one franchise-crippling trade every June. Lots of really good players with dominant teams spent time on the downside with the Penguins. Rick MacLeish, Peter Mahovlich, those kinds of guys.

The Mario years were splendid and the Sidney-Evgeni years look like they could be pretty damn good. Pittsburgh won their 4th pennant tonight and one would think that they’ll have a better chance to win the Stanley than they did one year ago.

There are two western teams still in the pennant race, but that could change tomorrow night.

  1. Montreal (11): ’68, ’69, ’71, ’73, ’76-’79, ’86, ’89, ’93
  2. Boston (7): ’70, ’72, ’74, ’77, ’78, ’88, ’90
  3. Edmonton (7): ’83, ’84, ’85, ’87, ’88, ’90, ’06
  4. Philadephia (7): ’74, ’75, ’76, ’80, ’85, ’87, ’97
  5. Detroit (5): ’95, ’97, ’98, ’02, ’08
  6. New York Islanders (5): ’80, ’81, ’82, ’83, ’84
  7. Pittsburgh Penguins (4): ’91, ’92, ’08, ’09
  8. Dallas (4): ’81, ’91, ’99, ’00
  9. New Jersey (4): ’95, ’00, ’01, ’03
  10. Calgary (3): ’86, ’89, ’04
  11. Chicago (3): ’71, ’73, ’92
  12. New York Rangers (3): ’72, ’79, ’94
  13. St. Louis (3): ’68, ’69, ’70
  14. Anaheim (2): ’03, ’07
  15. Buffalo (2): ’75, ’99
  16. Carolina (2): ’02, ’06
  17. Colorado (2): ’96, ’01
  18. Vancouver (2): ’82, ’94
  19. Florida (1): ’96
  20. Los Angeles (1): ’93
  21. Ottawa (1): ’07
  22. Tampa Bay (1): ’04
  23. Washington (1): ’98
  24. Atlanta
  25. Columbus
  26. Minnesota
  27. Nashville
  28. Phoenix
  29. San Jose
  30. Toronto

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24 Responses to "Penguins Win Pennant"

  1. Gerta Rauss says:

    Nice win for the Pens.

    I’m really hoping Detroit wraps things up tomorrow and the league changes the sked for the final.

    I really don’t want to wait..9..??..days for the finals to start.

    Let’s get on with this so we can enjoy the few weeks of summer left.

  2. Eetu says:

    Well, yes, they might have a better chance of winning the cup this year than last year, at least looking at the statistics, they’re playing much better offensively.

    However, watching the Red Wings dominate the Blackhawks on Sunday without Lidström and Datsyuk, I have a really hard time believing there is a hockey team on this planet that could win them in a best-of-7 series.

  3. bookie says:

    It is going to be a fun finale. I am hoping for a Pens win. While part of me accepts that hockey is a game/business and that Hossa had every right to ‘choose’ Detroit over the Pens, I kind of dislike ‘cup hunters’ and like to see them fail.

    Its not just that I am petty, I like to think of teams as being, well, teams. As though the group of guys around you in the room mean slightly more than the group of guys in the other room.

    It was not as though he was jumping from a lost cause to a competitive team. He jumped from the number two team to another team.

    Again, I accept it as part of the game outside the game, but for those of us who love the game INSIDE the game – I think its fun to see Hossa as the villain.

  4. eggie says:

    The Pens weren’t really Hossa’s team though. He was looking forward to being a UFA in the summer. He was traded to the Pens at the deadline. He didn’t pick the Pens. He performed admirably and helped the Pens reach the finals. Afterwards, he stuck with his UFA plan, said some nice things about Edmonton, and eventually took a lot less money to sign with the Wings.

    If anything, he makes me cheer for the Wings!

  5. bookie says:

    eggie, that version of reality is no fun even if it is pretty accurate. Look at it this way.

    He was on a team that had struggled for almost a decade, its survival was uncertain, but like Rocky, the team battled through and developed outstanding talent like Malkin and Crosby. They became the little team that could. They game up everything they had so that Hossa could join them to win the cup. They fought foe after foe until finally comming up against the corporate megalith that had been keeping little teams like them down for years – The Detroit Red Wings.

    While they fought valiently in their quest to dethrone the arrogant Red Wings, in the end the Red Wing juggernaught carried on to take hope away from all. All except the upstart heros of our story – the Pittsburg Penguins who all sat in their dressing room saying “We will get them next year boys, we can do it if we just remain strong as a team”

    Soon after the end of the season, before the tears even dried from little Crosby’s eyes, his best friend since childhood – Hossa – defected to the all powerful wings. He did so because he was tired of losing – he wanted to be the best and things like loyalty and freindship did not matter as long as he could win. He said “I wanna be a winner, I just want to win”

    A year passed and again the little team that could have returned to face the Red Wing Conglomerate and while most know they have no chance with Hossa on the side of evil, all in the kingdom hold their hope close to their heart, never talking about it, not even with their closest freinds for fear of the Red Wings, but it is there – deep, deep down.

    Go Pens! The fate of all humanity is on your shoulders.

  6. PDO says:

    Crosby will get his first Stanley this post-season.

  7. honkey says:

    That game 2 of this series was something else. That must have been one of the best games played the last 20 years.
    Up and down for 60 min with 5 players looking to join the attack every time.

    Both Crosby and Malkin seeking revenge for last year isn’t gonna be fun for Detroit. Both have looked pretty amazing so far and Staal hasn’t been that far behind.

    Pens all the way, can’t stand see Detroit win back to back cups. Watching Hossa lose again will also bring some real joy.

  8. Mark-Ryan says:

    PDO: Yup. Don’t think 5 Lidstrom’s could slow him down right now.

  9. R O says:

    Don’t think 5 Lidstrom’s could slow him down right now.He hasn’t even faced one yet. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

    Detroit in 6 again.

  10. NBOilerFan says:

    R O said…
    Detroit in 6 again.

    Agreed.

    Fleury will be frustrated by Holmstrom and Franzen in front of the net. The one thing Carolina didn’t do well enough.

  11. Mark-Ryan says:

    R O: I’ll go one step further and say Crosby is putting on the playoff performance of the decade.

    Pens in 7 IMO.

  12. R O says:

    R O: I’ll go one step further and say Crosby is putting on the playoff performance of the decade.

    Pens in 7 IMO.

    I think Crosby is getting the bounces. He’s shooting at 15.5% at ES in the playoffs. His ES SH% this year was 10.8% and last year was 10.3%.

    If there’s anything I’ve learned from the Oilogosphere, it’s how the percentages are unsustainable. If there’s a second thing I’v learned from the Oilogosphere, it’s how the percentages often color perceptions. If Crosby was shooting at 5.5% instead of 15.5% the hockey world would probably be questioning his ability to raise his game when it “REALLY” matters. Same player, different rolls of the dice.

    Don’t get me wrong, I think Crosby’s a phenomenal player, an actual difference maker – a rarity these days. But Detroit has at least three of those, and two or three more guys on the cusp, and a way better supporting cast.

  13. Bruce says:

    Crosby.

    When Bill Guein took a pass that was behind him, deflected it through his legs while staying onside at the blueline, then delivered an inch-perfect backhand saucer pass between two defenders right to the goalmouth, it was all about the finisher. Crosby.

    Then last night, when Guerin caused a turnover at the defensive blueline, headmanned the puck to Crosby, and outraced everybody to the goal mouth to take the return pass and put her home, well this time it was all about the great feed. Crosby.

    Two sensational plays by Guerin and I swear to god some of the talking heads didn’t even know who else was on the ice. Besides Crosby.

    Listen, Sid’s great, I love to watch him, he’s one of those guys who makes his teammates better, but guess what, they make him better too. I just wish the talking heads would spend at least 1% of their time talking about the supporting cast. Instead, they waste our time talking about whether or not Crosby touched the fucking trophy not to mention repeatedly ridiculing Simeon Varlamov for having the temerity to ask that his name be pronounced correctly, and when they finally run out of breath on those life-or-death issues, well then there’s still Crosby.

    Crosby.

  14. spOILer says:

    Thank you Bruce. I was saying the same things to my roomie last night.

  15. Oilmaniac says:

    Nice one Bookie,.. Good comments Bruce.. Guerin is a guy deserves more praise and even satan has elevated his intensity it seems to me…

    I for one am going to watch these finals because of that feeling that history will be made… the caps-pens was a Great series, and this will be the continuation… great showdown w the hossa drama as backdrop…

    it would be nice to see hossa lose for that reason but it would also be nice to see “the tears.. from little Crosby’s eyes”..

  16. Black Dog says:

    Crosby … muscular thighs … monster … will to win … Crosby.

    And I’ll take a guy who takes less money to try and win a Cup any day, thank you very much.

    great series to come, Pens could win it, but they will not, Wings in six, maybe seven

  17. uni says:

    But how will the Wings ever overcome Crosby’s strong muscular legs?

    Also Bookie, you forgot the part where Hossa reveals to Crosby that he is his father and then picks up Holland and throws him out of the owner’s box.

  18. Black Gold says:

    ^Awesome^

  19. Smarmy Boss says:

    Guerin is looking like a kid out there again.

    Crosby is on a mission. Whose gonna stop him? Not gonna be Osgood.

  20. Coach pb9617 says:

    And I’ll take a guy who takes less money to try and win a Cup any day, thank you very much.Awcomeon. I can see if he took less from anyone but the prohibitive favorite to win a cup, but the Red Wings? You’ll take a guy that goes to the odds-on favorite to win a cup? Just seems like front-running to me.

  21. Dennis says:

    I have mentioned this before but considering that the Oil can’t make the playoffs, I take a lot of Pens every year in my playoff pool and the fact that they’re fun to watch, I pretty much consider the Pens my second favourite team.

    Elite talents like 71 and 87 are a year older now and three years into their playoff campaigns and that makes a big difference. I’d take them to best the Wings no matter what if I was more confident in Gonchar’s health; even though Sergei looked better as the Canes series went on.

    But now with the Wings having a multitude of injuries to big players, I don’t think their depth or beat up elite players will best Pit this time around.

  22. knighttown says:

    Disagree on the pro-supporting cast of Penguins sentiment. Watch sports, all sports and the announcers focus on the stars. Tiger Woods? Lebron and Kobe? Tom Brady?

    The three best forwards since Lemieux will be Crosby, Malkin and Ovechkin when its all said and done. They’re head and shoulders ahead of the next group (Datsyuk, Lecav, Kovie, Getzlaf) and they’re kids. And two of them play on the same freaking team.

    I sincerely believe that this Pens team could turn over everyone of its wingers this offseason and still win the Eastern Conference, that’s how little they matter. Guerin’s been fine and those two plays are great examples but you simply cannot account for the time and space that players like he and Fedotenko get simply because the other team is scared of Sid and Geno.

    I would absolutely love to see some Corsi numbers for these guys this playoff season.

  23. R O says:

    The three best forwards since Lemieux will be Crosby, Malkin and Ovechkin when its all said and done. They’re head and shoulders ahead of the next group (Datsyuk, Lecav, Kovie, Getzlaf) and they’re kids. And two of them play on the same freaking team.

    Lecavelier and Kovalchuk aren’t even in that next tier down, and Datsyuk (and Zetterberg too) are head and shoulders above Ovechkin and company at outscoring, outchancing and maintaining puck possession. Absolutely on another level.

    I would absolutely love to see some Corsi numbers for these guys this playoff season.

    BehindTheNet has them up. Pittsburgh’s doing quite well (Crosby and Malkin around +5/60). Buuut Detroit’s head and shoulders above them (Lidstrom at +10/60, Zetterberg at +15/60, Datsyuk at +26/60). This is all subject to small-sample-size-itis though.

  24. quain says:

    Crosby and Malkin might turn out to be the best forwards of the era, when it’s all said and done, and they’re probably capable of scoring even with four Brad Winchesters on their wing. However, right now, I’d put my money on Datsyuk and Zetterberg and then I’d take the ~$4.7M or so I saved and buy a Johan Franzen to ride shotgun.

    The only way the Pens win is if Lidstom and Datsyuk are sitting out multiple games.

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