It’s over. The long NHL season is now behind us. Overall, the Stanley Cup Final was decent, and we have the Penguins as the 2017 Stanley Cup winners. It would have been outstanding to have a Game 7, but at least the final tilt was a competitive one. So now we’re left with a two-time defending champion for the first time in 19 years. A club that boats a lot of depth and has shown that they can overcome adversity. As or the Predators, it was a magical run, a run that was amazing for the NHL product.
2017 Stanley Cup Winners – 3 Reasons why the Penguins Won
So why did the Penguins win? Here you go:
1. Experience – When you’ve already been there it’s a major advantage. The Pens were not stranger to the limelight, pressure and level of play required to win it all. Nashville eventually caught on, but not before they were down 2-0 in the series.
2. The center position – When you can throw out the best player in the world and arguably a top five player in the world on the next line, how do you compete with that? Crosby and Malkin up the middle was simply unrivaled in these playoffs once again. Until he got hurt, Nick Bonino was also the best third line center in these playoffs as well. Heck, Matt Cullen on the fourth line was epic too. A real embarrassment of riches at center.
3. Depth – Both the Penguins and Predators had injuries to overcome. But Pittsburgh’s depth was just better. The rookies and young stars for the Pens stepped up and made their ice time count. Nashville had some great young contributions as well, but simply not with the same skill level required. You just couldn’t replace Ryan Johansen at center for the Preds.
Well that about wraps up our analysis of game play for the 2016-2017 season. But we have the NHL draft and free agency right around the corner. So there’s no rest for the wicked. 🙂
All 77 Penguin Goals
Here’s every one of ’em. pic.twitter.com/c94QKYQX0r
— NHL (@NHL) June 12, 2017
Matthew Ross is a sports commentator and a radio host on TSN 690 Radio in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Follow him @MatthewWords.