Tyler Kennedy from the Penguins’ 2009 Stanley Cup winner joins me at 4:30 pm. Game 7 of that year’s championship series vs. Detroit will be rebroadcast at 7pm on the X. You can also see that game tonight on AT&T SportsNet.
If you want to get started early, highlights from Game 7 are below. So is the Penguins’ post-game Stanley Cup celebration, and TK’s memorabilia from those playoffs.
That Penguins team was extremely talented, but perhaps arrived a bit early by making the final in ’08 and winning in ’09.
That ’09 team’s average age was 26. Kennedy and Evgeni Malkin were 22. Sidney Crosby and Kris Letang were 21. Jordan Staal was 20. Marc-Andre Fleury and Max Talbot were 24: Grizzled veterans by comparison.
After ’09, the Penguins fizzled for a bit. They never seriously threatened from ’10-’15 before winning Cups in ’16 and ’17 with a lot of different players.
But that ’09 team was truly great.
It had a terrific third line: Staal, Kennedy and Matt Cooke.
Talbot was a crazy versatile role player and had eight playoff goals, including two in that Game 7 at Detroit.
Crosby and Malkin (the playoff MVP) were established superstars and combined for 29 postseason goals.
Sergei Gonchar was the power play’s glue.
Brooks Orpik was the dressing room’s conscience.
Chris Kunitz and Bill Guerin arrived late but brought a lot.
Hal Gill and Rob Scuderi couldn’t play in today’s NHL. Too slow. But they were a great shutdown defensive pair then.
Fleury was brilliant that spring. If he doesn’t stop Nicklas Lidstrom at the death of Game 7, the history of the Penguins franchise likely changes drastically.
Detroit was a great hockey team. But the Penguins were better.
It’s a time worth reliving, especially since our options are currently limited.
Thumbnail courtesy of Getty Images.