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NHL Stanley Cup Champions: Pittsburgh Penguins

The Pittsburgh Penguins came on strong in the second half of the season and have been rewarded with the highest honor with a Stanley Cup trophy. The last cup came to the team back in 2009 and this one couldn’t feel any sweeter considering last years performance, the mid-season firing of Mike Johnston and hiring of new coach, Mike Sullivan.

I often write about the New York Rangers, but there’s also a reason why I’m writing about the Pittsburgh Penguins outside of being relevant news after winning the Stanley Cup Finals. The Penguins have two individuals — a coach and player — that have made tremendous contributions to the team. Both of these individuals were former members of the New York Rangers organization. Lets take a look:

Mike Sullivan, Coach 

Once the assistant coach of the New York Rangers under John Tortorella, Mike Sullivan came to Pittsburgh when Mike Johnston was fired halfway through the season. Since taking over, the team went on to win 33 of 16 games (.675 win percentage) and took the cup from the San Jose Sharks. Sullivan has had interesting coach career spanning 14 years (2002 – 2016):

  • Providence Bruins (AHL), Head Coach
  • Boston Bruins (NHL), Head Coach
  • Tampa Bay Lightning (NHL), Assistant Coach
  • New York Rangers (NHL), Assistant Coach
  • Vancouver Canucks (NHL), Assistant Coach
  • Chicago Blackhawks (NHL), Player Development Coach
  • Pittsburgh Penguins (NHL), Head Coach

Carl Hagelin, Forward

A tremendously fast, often considered ‘unrefined’ Swedish player, Carl Hagelin was with the New York Rangers organization for three years before being traded to the Anaheim Ducks. At the mid-season mark, Hagelin was subsequently traded to the Penguins where he certainly found his place contributing quickly on the third line. He played a pivotal roll with his speed on a line with Phil Kessel and Nick Bonino that frequently made the stat sheet during the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Looking back, it is clear the NY Rangers lost two important individuals that later came together to hoist the cup. Carl Hagelin and Mike Sullivan must feel pretty good about where they are, and likely share the “everything happens for a reason” motto given their journey in the league.

via Bruce Heen: http://bruceheen.net/nhl-stanley-cup-champions-pittsburgh-penguins/

 
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Posted by on July 12, 2016 in Bruce Heen

 

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NY Rangers Take Game 3, Lead Series Over Penguins 2-1

The NY Rangers got it done, but not without an onslaught of pressure by the Penguins in the final period. The Rangers came out very strong through two periods, even holding the Penguins to a single shot in 15 minutes to start out the game. New York looked fast, won the battles in the corner, loose pucks, and stifled the Penguins each time they gained entry into The Ranger’s defensive zone.

It wasn’t until seven minutes or so in the final period that the Penguins got a breath of success, scoring their first goal of the game. Scored by Patric Hornqvist in the slot, The Penguins continued to press and put pressure on The Rangers and it looked like it was only a matter of time before the guys in black and white found the net again to tie the game at two a piece.

The expected goal for many never came and the Rangers ended up walking out of The Consol Energy Center feeling like they stole the game from the opposition.

It is no surprise that The Rangers work well on the road and a tight win like this one has been commonplace for the Blueshirts time and time again this season. With the best regular season record in the NHL, New York has all the experience and talent you would expect in a team with its sights set on a return to the Stanley Cup finals.

For a video recap, please check out the following:

http://video.nhl.com/videocenter/embed?playlist=812194

via Bruce Heen: http://bruceheen.net/ny-rangers-take-game-3-lead-series-over-penguins-2-1/

 
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Posted by on April 21, 2015 in Bruce Heen

 

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