Congratulations to the Pittsburgh Penguins, five-time Stanley Cup Champions and winners for the second consecutive season. The 2016-2017 Penguins are the first franchise to successfully defend their title in 19 years.
Let’s just get one thing out of the way off the top:
Mario Lemieux now has his name on the Stanley Cup five times; Wayne Gretzky? Four. Deal with it.
Some more facts and figures from the now completed 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs…
Since the 1998 Detroit Red Wings successfully defended their Stanley Cup title, the 1999 Dallas Stars, 2000 New Jersey Devils and 2008 Detroit Red Wings were the three previous reigning champions who got back to the Final and lost in the quest to defend their Stanley Cup title one season later.
Tonight’s clinching victory was the 200th playoff game win in Penguins history.
Nashville is the 17th franchise the Penguins have eliminated at least once in the playoffs.
Pittsburgh joins Edmonton as the only two expansion teams to win five Cups. The only franchises ahead of the Penguins and Oilers are Montreal, Toronto, Detroit, Boston and Chicago – all Original Six teams.
Pittsburgh improved to 5-1 all-time in potential Cup-clinching games. Their only loss was last season’s Game 5 against San Jose – the first time the Pens ever had a chance to win the Cup on home ice.
With their victory in Bridgestone Arena, the Pens continued their historic pattern of winning Cups only on the road. They are the only team with five or more Cups with zero home clinching wins. Pittsburgh has hoisted the Cup in the Met Center in Minnesota, Chicago Stadium, Joe Louis Arena in Detroit and last year at the SAP Center in San Jose. The first three arenas have either been demolished or soon to be demolished.
Matt Murray is the first goaltender to clinch the Stanley Cup with a road shutout since Tim Thomas in 2011.
Murray’s 22 wins in 32 playoff games is by far the most rookie victories by a goaltender in playoff history.
Murray (23 yrs old) is the youngest goalie since Grant Fuhr (22 yrs old) in 1984 and 1985 to have won 2 Cups already; Murray is the first goaltender to win Cups in his first two NHL seasons
Murray, Conor Sheary, Bryan Rust and Tom Kuhnhackl join Jaromir Jagr, Jim Paek and Paul Stanton as Penguins who won back to back Cups in their rookie and second NHL seasons.
Matt Cullen, if this was indeed his last night in an NHL uniform, will go out “John Elway style” – winning two consecutive championships with the same club before heading into retirement. Cullen will be the first to do so since Hall of Fame defenseman Vyacheslav Fetisov with the 1997 and 1998 Red Wings.
Cullen, 40, is once again the oldest Penguin in team history to have his name engraved on the Cup. Cullen was 39 last season. Bill Guerin was 38 in 2009.
Sidney Crosby joins Jean Beliveau, Yvan Cournoyer, Denis Potvin, Wayne Gretzky, Scott Stevens, Steve Yzerman and Jonathan Toews as captains who led their team to Cup victories three times in the expansion era.
Crosby joins Potvin, Gretzky and Toews as captains who accomplished the feat before their 30th birthday.
Crosby is the sixth two-time winner of the Conn Smythe Trophy as Stanley Cup playoffs MVP and the third man to win in consecutive seasons joining Lemieux and Bernie Parent.
Jake Guentzel is the first rookie to lead all playoff scorers in goals and his 21 points tied the rookie record for most in one playoffs
Mike Sullivan is the 12th head coach in the NHL era (1918-2017) to win back to back Stanley Cups.
Hall of Fame coach Scotty Bowman was the last to do it when he guided Detroit to the 1997 and 1998 titles.
Sullivan was already the first Penguins coach to win 6 consecutive playoff series. Now he is at 8 … and counting.