Hockey and life took him on unexpected detours. He lost time to concussions that left him in a dark place and threatened his career. The Penguins couldn't sustain their success, drifting through management and coaching changes that seemed headed nowhere as recently as the middle of this season.
Those memories flickered through his mind Sunday, as he led the Penguins to a 3-1 victory over the
"Having won seven years ago at a young age, you probably take it for granted a little bit," he said. "You don't think you do at the time, but it's not easy to get to this point."
He had never lost hope, but at 28 he had wondered if his time would ever come again. It came Sunday, as the speedy, defensively reliable Penguins overcame the physicality and resilience of the West champion Sharks. Crosby, who had a primary assist on
"When you have so much turnover the last couple years like we had, it's not easy to throw a bunch of guys together and develop that chemistry, that trust. It doesn't happen overnight," he said. "When you look at the group, how many new players we brought in, it was pretty special what we were able to do."
They had a solid core that was supplemented by off-season acquisitions
"Their speed, the pressure they put on with their speed. It's not just their speed, they have good sticks too. They force you into quicker decisions," Sharks Coach Peter DeBoer said. "They really challenge your execution. We hadn't seen pressure and sticks like that through the first three rounds."
That became obvious as the Final continued. “We thought we had the team, going through the teams we did in the West. It’s just tough right now,” veteran
Pittsburgh’s defense was outstanding in blocking shots and preventing opponents from getting quality scoring chances against Murray. Daley, who suffered a broken ankle during the Penguins’
From Daley it went to
"It's so special, he said of lifting the Cup. "You dream all your life for this and we got it done."