At the request of hockey-starved fans, the Penguins, along with AT&T Sportsnet and the Penguins Radio Network have been re-airing classic games throughout the history of the franchise.
The Stanley Cup Finals are also being rebroadcast, and at the time of this writing, the Penguins are looking back at the 2016 Stanley Cup run.
These classic games and championship triumphs got me thinking: which Stanley Cup victory meant the most to me? Now, admittedly, I wasn’t around to see the first two titles won by the 1991 and 1992 teams, but I certainly still appreciate the greatness of those runs. I was also 11-years-old in 2009, and wouldn’t consider myself a die-hard like I am today.
So that brings me to the 2016 and 2017 teams. The first team to win back-to-back Stanley Cups in the salary cap era. Both of these championships mean different things to me.
To me, the 2016 run felt like a weight was finally lifted off the shoulders of fans and players alike. Years of coming up short had many thinking that the Crosby—Malkin era would only be defined by one championship, and in turn, be looked at as a failure.
The 2017 championship brought with it two memories that I’ll remember forever: watching Chris Kunitz single-handedly end an NHL franchise in-person...
And attending the watch party of Game 6 against the Predators at PPG Paints Arena...
Looking back at these memories never gets old. But I think the championship that means the most to me will be the 2016 Stanley Cup win. This was the first championship I felt invested in, and watching the team from start to finish was so rewarding. Like I said above, it was probably somewhat vindicating for Sidney Crosby and co. to finally get their names on the Cup again.
Re-watching all of these classic moments leads me to remind everyone to never take any of this greatness for granted. Once Crosby and Malkin hang up the skates, who knows how long it’ll be before another generational talent (or two!) finds his way to the Steel City for championship immortality.
I’d love to hear some of your championship memories as well. Let me know down below which Stanley Cup victory stands out in your mind!