With all the cards on the table, the most beautiful trophy in all of sports out of the case and the title of Champion up for grabs the Pittsburgh Penguins tangled with the host Detroit Red Wings in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final on Friday night. The game was amazing, the outcome somewhat surprising as a hobbled Sidney Crosby and the Pens pulled off a 2-1 victory of the Wings to pull a complete 180 defeating the team that had downed them just a year prior in the Final. Let us put it simply: the Pittsburgh Penguins are the 2009 Stanley Cup Champions! Only one Former Islander played a major role in the game. Here is a look:
Detroit goaltender Chris Osgood gave a valiant effort stopping 16 of 18 shots but it was 2 of 3 shots off the stick of Pitt forward Max Talbot that stumped him as his team's offense failed to pull him even in the closing minutes of regulation. Ozzie played well throughout the 2009 playoffs sporting an impressive 15-8 record with a 2.00 goals against average and a save percentage right around .925 with 2 shutouts. However Ozzie lost 4 of his last 5 starts as the Pens overcame 2-0 and 3-2 series deficits. Our kudos go to Chris for playing with talent and overcoming a terrible regular season to become the most commanding backstopper of the playoffs.
Congratulations must really go, however, to the 4 FIs who will now sport Stanley Cup rings as members of the Penguins. First up is aging winger Bill Guerin who was traded right before the deadline by the Isles for a draft pick. Guerin wins his 2nd ring after being a member of the triumphant 1995 New Jersey Devils. Guerin had 15 points (7 goals, 8 assists) on 24 games but was scoreless in his last 5. Alas, way to go Billy G! Also sealing up his second Stanley Cup victory is winger Ruslan Fedotenko who played for the Tampa Bay Lightning when they won in 2004. Fedo had 14 points (7 goals, 7 assists) on 24 games including 3 points (1 goal, 2 assists) against Detroit. Congrats Ruslan! Despite going point-less in his last 6 games, winger Miroslav Satan is now a Stanley Cup winner. Satan has 1 goal and 5 assists for 6 points on 17 games. Way to earn it Miro! Finally, though he did not play in a single playoff game winger Eric Godard should receive his name on the Cup after putting in 71 games of service during the regular season. Congratulations Eric.
Well that wraps it up the 2008-09 season here at Former Islander Watch. Check back occasionally during the summer months as we will have some updates especially when we reach the opening of free agency on July 1. Thanks for reading!