Hornqvist, Fleury Send Pens Fans Into Frenzy With Cup Win
"You don't always win with the best players in a group, but you are more likely to succeed with the best group of players.""Show me a great goaltender and I'll show you a winning team."
The Pittsburgh Penguins proved these old cliches true once again as the input of lesser lights willed the team to victory against the Vancouver Canucks in 5 games, with the help of spectacular netminding by Marc-Andre Fleury. With the first line of Neal-Crosby-Malkin combining for just 6 points and effectively neutralized by the Canucks, Vincent Lecavalier (1-5) and Pascal Dupuis (4-0), stepped up and provided secondary scoring in what ended up to be five very close games throughout the series, with two going the extra mile. Patric Hornqvist, once a 7th-round afterthought, rewarded his manager who traded for him in the off-season by recording at least a point in four of the five games against Vancouver, including the game-winning goal in Game 3 and the goal that sent the thousands of Pens fans watching the deciding game 5 at Consol Energy Centre into a frenzy. Marc-Andre Fleury, who couldn't get a shutout in the regular season even if his life depended on it, managed to blank the Canucks on their home ice in Game 3 and then once more in Game 5 to clinch the Cup, stopping 156/165 shots through five games.
"Patric has stepped up just the way we imagined he would," Captain Sidney Crosby praised his teammate amidst the on-ice celebrations. "We were so lucky to get him early in the season and he just gelled with the whole team instantly. The same goes for Vinny too. He has been in these kinds of situations before and he showed it in this series. Marc was unbelievable for us in the Finals and really kept us in games when we didn't play at our best. Heck, he was incredible throughout the whole run.
That said, I have nothing but respect for our opposition. They played their hearts out and this series really could have gone the other way with the two overtime games. The Sedins showed by they are one of the best duo in the league and Kesler was just a defensive beast."
"I don't know how it went in," Hornqvist spoke about his Cup-winning goal. "I think it just squeaked by [Luongo] and I think that's just the kind of goal you have to rely on in the Finals against a great goaltender like him. We knew we had to take advantage of our powerplays after missing some opportunities earlier and it just...happened. I'll never forget this moment and I couldn't have done it without playing on the greatest team in the world. I'd like to thank the staff and management for believing in me and bringing me here to play with with two of the best players in the game right now in Crosby and Malkin."
OT: Henrik wins the Art Ross and Hart? I think Malkin got robbed.
Edited by Chimon, 05 November 2012 - 11:30 PM.