Some people complain that the IIHF World Championships are played in May, which is incomprehensible because it hardly requires snow and ice out there to enjoy some good hockey. We who are following the finals of the Stanley Cup are accustomed to a hockey season that continues well into June! This year the final series was played between the Pittsburgh Penguins and San Jose Sharks. Penguins have had a hard time repeating their success from 2009 and the San Jose Sharks have had some good performances in the group stage but struggling in the playoffs.
Pittsburg Penguins won the 2016 Stanley Cup
As usual the finals were decided in a series of seven games. Penguins took the command right away, winning two consecutive games (game 1: 3-2, game 2: 2-1 OT). Now, many people thought that San Jose would have a hard time matching the Penguins in this series. However, The Sharks managed to bounce back and won game three in overtime (3-2). This was necessary in order to keep the series alive, and suddenly it was “only” 2-1 in matches. Pittsburgh continued to play their game though and extended the lead to 3-1 in game four (3-1). Again, San Jose reduced the series (4-2), but in the end Pittsburgh decided the finals through a 3-1 victory in game 6. Patric Hörnqvist put the last puck in the empty net. In addition to Hörnqvist another Swede, Carl Hagelin also became a Stanley Cup champion in 2016. Captain Sidney Crosby again got to raise the trophy, just like in 2009. In San Jose, it was less happy faces when players like Joe Thornton and Brent Burns, despite huge playoff beards, did not last all the way this year. They managed to advance all the way to the final and managed to defeat their playoff ghost in the form of the Los Angeles Kings though.
Now we look forward to the silly season before it’s time to drop the puck at the World Cup of Hockey 2016!