Except, for some of the Penguins, it has happened often. Every year is a new year.
Either way, this Stanley Cup final is going to be historic.
The first season after the year-long lockout featured plenty of surprises, most notably the Oilers coming out of nowhere to emerge as the Stanley Cup representatives out of the Western Conference. "You have to raise your level", Hornqvist said. It's not something that comes around every year. When Shultz left Game 2 against the Senators, Dumoulin played 26 minutes, Hainsey almost 25 and Maatta 22. The Lightning won that one 2-1 for their first Stanley Cup crown. "It's a special thing. I think we've walked hand in hand to get to this point". When he drives it deep, everyone (on the opposing team) gets scared and you can find that soft area. As much as they need to worry about stopping Crosby, the Penguins need to worry about trying to stop this group from taking over the series. "That's been our goal all year: first to make the playoffs and then to repeat". The Preds are closer than ever to the Stanley Cup and it won't be hard to give it all they've got. "It's physical and tiring, but it's also rewarding".
Then again, he's not alone.
They're missing their top center in Ryan Johansen, who had emergency surgery after Game 4 of the conference final after suffering compartment syndrome in his left thigh. He is behind fellow National Hockey League players Jonathan Toews, Sidney Crosby, Patrick Kane, Anze Kopitar, and Alex Ovechkin. Either way, it's a mismatch. Later sent to Nashville at the deadline, Parenteau, like his former teammate Streit, has spent most of the playoffs as a scratch. Stop them and you stopped their team. But just because the Islanders didn't get a chance to compete for the Cup doesn't mean there's no reason to check out completely (although, judging by traffic numbers since the end of the season, most readers have done just that already). The goal is the defenseman's fifth of the playoffs. He yielded 12 goals in the last three games of a second-round series loss to San Jose. Add injuries to Patric Hornqvist (SWE), Justin Schultz (CAN), Carl Hagelin (SWE) and Bryan Rust (USA) for different periods of time, and it's truly been a "next man up" mentality for the Penguins as they seek a fifth Stanley Cup in franchise history. "I think that's kind of been our biggest strength".
"So I wanted to show him my support, and I was really, really happy for him to do it". He's a very good player.
"I think our guys are comfortable with that". He's pretty sound defensively. Currently, he is the 6th highest paid player in National Hockey League. The Predators face a Pittsburgh Penguins squad that needed double overtime to knock off the Ottawa Senators 3-2 in game seven of the Eastern finals which has the Penguins in position to win back to back Stanley Cups.
It's been all Predators since the first intermission of Game 1 in the Stanley Cup Final.
Bovada has the odds at Predators: +145, Penguins -165. "He'd have four (actually five, two as player, three as owner)".
In speaking to Ken Campbell of the Hockey News on Sunday, Rutherford sounded off and said that if the league does not take steps to protect its stars the league is headed back to where it was in the 1970s.
"There was always support, but my first couple years, Detroit fans would outnumber the Predators fans. After that, it dries out". They are the single biggest advantage Nashville has in this series. While Rinne has garnered much of the attention for the Preds success, the help he has received from Ryan Elias, Roman Josi, Mattias Ekholm and PK Subban on the blue line has made Rinne's job easier. We're not going to be the offensive guy Kris Letang was. He's led the Predators in goals (eight) and points (15) during this season's playoff run. If we do, we'll be good to go.
The Cole Harbour, N.S., native can join one-time mentor Mario Lemieux, Steve Yzerman and Wayne Gretzky as the only players to captain back-to-back Cup winners in the last 30 years. It seems that for our team we gelled at the right time and are clicking down the stretch.