It’s the end of the calendar year, so what better way to say farewell to 2017 than to look back at some of our Pensburgh writers favorite moments. We’ll have a few others on the staff chip in with what stands out to them when they think back on 2017 and I took the lead to put the first installment out. This isn’t by any means a complete list or great moments, nor even the “best” per se, just ones that stand out in my memory as we close the books on another year.
And, for one and all here, thanks for another banner year at Pensburgh where we set all sorts of personal bests here and really took a step to become one of the biggest and best performing SBN Hockey blogs. Couldn’t have done it with out you all, so thanks and we’re all looking forward to a bigger and better 2018.
[June 11th, 2017] Hornqvist’s Cup clinching goal
Well, might as well start at the very top, eh? On June 11th 2017 the Penguins won the 5th Stanley Cup in team history in large part to Patric Hornqvist breaking a 0-0 tie with less than 2 minutes to go in the game.
Hornqvist puts the Penguins up late pic.twitter.com/2ZxyKKz0DR— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) June 12, 2017
The goal itself is a thing of beauty, especially considering the man who scored it had a mangled hand that was inhibiting his ability to hold a stick and play. It’s a goal someone scores because they just want to do it more. And it’ll now be immortalized in team history as a Cup clinching goal.
[June 14, 2017] Olli Maatta’s parade shenanigans
The 2016 parade was fairly benign. About all that came from it was some fan threw Bryan Rust a can of beer while he was in the back of a truck.
2017, by comparison, was madness. And, in fact, Olli Maatta is only the second most meme-worthy guy of the whole show, but everything about these two on that parade was amazing.
Olli Maatta is an infant and Justin Schultz is a bad influence and I fucking love it pic.twitter.com/gIoLyfX1cu— Sam (@sammitysam__) June 14, 2017
The subplot of the Chic-Fil-A experience is the best. Maatta is one of the hardest working Pens, a real “first guy on the ice, last one off” type that works out so often and for so long even Sidney freakin Crosby has to tell the kid to take a break at times. Maatta’s overcome a lot of injuries, cancer, so much for a such a young man.
Like all NHLers now, diet is a huge thing. Being from Finland, Maatta had never enjoyed the glory that is some Chic-Fil-A. Good teammate Ian Cole introduced him to it in Pittsburgh shortly after the team returned victorious from Nashville.
And Maatta was all about it at the parade too.
Everything about Olli Maatta at the parade was just the best. You can relive his whole day here. Sleep well, sweet prince.
[February 16, 2017] Sidney Crosby becomes fastest active player to 1,000 points
Sidney Crosby (757 games) juuust edges out Jaromir Jagr (763) to be the quickest active player to 1,000 career NHL points.
Fittingly enough, Crosby’s 1000th point was very typical as he outworks an opponent to win a puck back, then uses his perhpiral vision to find Chris Kunitz in the slot for a nice pass to set up the goal.
Career point 1,000 for Sidney Crosby. Determination. pic.twitter.com/2uSAbxUJ9V— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) February 17, 2017
This of course wouldn’t be the last great Crosby-to-Kunitz goal of the year, but I’ll save that for another writer :)
[May 10th, 2017] Marc-Andre Fleury shuts out Capitals in Game 7
After this night, Fleury would start 3 more games as a Penguin, and he would get a shutout win in Game 2 vs. Ottawa, but this really was his crowning achievement of the 2017 playoffs and a proper goodbye moment.
Fleury made 29 saves on 29 shots from Washington, including one with the knob of his stick
Marc-Andre Fleury shows some love to the shaft of his stick pic.twitter.com/sWKlTLWS2D— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) May 11, 2017
The Pens scored twice and won, despite being outmanned and outshot for the series, in large part thanks to their goalie. Merci, Marc-Andre!
[March 21st, 2017] Crosby one-handed goal vs. Buffalo
Probably the sickest Pens goal of the year IMO (or at least from what I can recall at this moment). With time winding down in the period, Crosby skates through the entire Sabres penalty killing unit and has the strength to lift the puck, one-handed, past the goalie.
Of course, in a Cup winning year there’s a lot more than 5 memories or highlights to take moving forward, but the line has to be cut somewhere. More throughout the week from some of the other writers but feel free in the comments to highlight some of your favorite individual moments from a most memorable 2017.