Pittsburgh Penguins Are The 2016 Stanley Cup Champions!

The Pittsburgh Penguins are the 2016 Stanley Cup Champions, and I am so extremely excited and happy for the team!!!!! This team has had so many hardships throughout this season. They were not even in the playoff race before Coach Sullivan replaced Mike Johnston in December 2015. Looking back now, this is the same scenario that took place in 2009 when the Penguins hired Dan Bylsma mid-season and went on to win the Stanley Cup that year. In fact, this year’s win was exactly 7 years to the day that we won in 2009 (June 12, 2016)! Amazing! 🙂

Under Sullivan, they were on a roll with winning and looking better as a team. Then, some injuries occurred. Malkin went out for a long stretch, and the team just kept winning. As we neared the end of the season, our goaltender Marc Andre Fleury suffered a concussion and was out, and I thought that would be the end of our season right there, but our backups Zatkoff and then 21 year old Matt Murray (he celebrated his 22nd birthday during our playoffs run) came in and were brilliant! We acquired some great talent along the way in this run and brought up guys from Wilkes Barre Scranton Penguins. As with most teams and seasons, there were ups and downs, but you could just feel the push for the cup this year. We didn’t back down. We didn’t hang our heads and lose track of the end goal. We took on the New York Rangers, the Washington Capitals (which had the best record for the season for both the East and West), the Tampa Bay Lighting (went to game 7 and was a hard fought series) and then played the San Jose Sharks in the Finals and came out on top! It was just an incredibly fun season to watch, and I am so proud of the whole team!!

I have only stepped foot in the city of Pittsburgh one time. My husband and I stopped off in Pittsburgh on our honeymoon. We drove straight there from our wedding night and got in very early in the morning. We wanted to be there in time to catch a Pirates game at Three Rivers Stadium. What a fun time that was! We were exhausted from the wedding, but had a blast at the game! That being said, even though we are not from Pittsburgh, there has always been a connection to the city because of our love of the Pirates, Penguins and Steelers. My husband has been a fan since he was very little, and I am so happy of his choice of favorite teams!

Being a fan of the Pirates, Penguins and Steelers (and Los Angeles Lakers – see my article on Kobe here) is something that is a part of our lives. We schedule our daily routines around when the teams play. We watch every single game, and if by chance we can’t, we have listened to a few Penguins games while traveling, checked Twitter for updates on the Pirates. But, for the most part we get involved in our sports seriously. It is something that is so important to us, and it really makes my son, husband and I feel connected. When Clayton III was little, he didn’t seem to have the passion for watching and cheering on our teams, but as he got older, he really got into it. It is something that we all share, enjoy and I am so grateful for the time that my family and I are together in this way. It is a beautiful thing to be able to spend this precious time with each other. I love that there is always something to look forward to, and I have to say that hockey is probably the sport I most enjoy watching. I love its fast-paced nature. It is an exciting game for sure.

Emotional is an understatement! I really thought that we had a chance to win on June 9th in Pittsburgh with the series lead of 3-1 going into game 5, and the fans showing up to watch outside as well as inside was such a sight to see. But, it took heading back to San Jose to get it done. And, as Hornqvist hit the empty net with only a few short minutes left, victory set in! The time ticked down and then the team ran to tackle Murray and celebrated. The tears came and the whole season that they worked so hard to get to that point came flooding in. What a great feeling for the team! What pure joy! And the fact that I got to experience it with my husband and son makes it all the sweeter. What a great season and really great memories that we will talk about for years to come. Congrats, Penguins!!!!! So HAPPY for you!

My tweet:

https://twitter.com/dis411/status/742197355798269952

Some tweets from the Penguins: