Pittsburgh was busy planning a parade for their Stanley Cup champion Penguins on Saturday, which could be the first of many to come for the Steel City.
With the core of their team just barely old enough to legally drink the champagne being chugged in their dressing room following a gritty 2-1 Game Seven win over Detroit that clinched the Cup on Friday, the Penguins appear well positioned to take a run at many more championships.
When 21-year-old Sidney Crosby, who stills lives in team owner Mario Lemieux’s guest house, skated forward to accept the treasured trophy from NHL commissioner Gary Bettman he became the youngest captain to hoist the Stanley Cup.
But the Canadian is not even the youngest player on a talent-laden roster that forms the nucleus of what many believe could develop into the next NHL dynasty.
Jordan Staal, who scored a shorthanded goal in Game Four that shifted the series momentum to Pittsburgh, is just 20, while resilient netminder Marc-Andre Fleury is a battle-hardened 24.
Evgeni Malkin, who led both the regular season and playoffs in scoring and collected Conn Smythe trophy honors as the Stanley Cup MVP, is just 22 and next week could add the Hart trophy as the NHL’s most valuable player to his haul.
“That’s a great thought,” laughed Penguins coach Dan Bylsma when asked if the Penguins’ Cup win was just the start of something special. “That’s a great thought and it’s a dream. But there’s a lot of hard work and building and laying a foundation every year that goes into every year.”
“It doesn’t happen without building that foundation on day one and day two. They just don’t hand you a trip to the Stanley Cup Finals again the second year,” he said. “So we’re going to enjoy this one ... and come September we’ll start building the foundation again for what this team could possibly do.”
A dynamic, forward-thinking coach, who was working in the minors at the start of the season, Bylsma has proven to be a perfect fit for the young Penguins.
Taking over the floundering squad in mid-February from sacked Michel Therrien, Bylsma guided Pittsburgh into the playoffs with an 18-3-4 run to close the regular season.
“Road Runner” Alphonso Davies lived up to his nickname with another lightning sprint on Saturday as Bayern Munich opened a 10-point lead in the Bundesliga. Having defeated second-placed Borussia Dortmund 1-0 away in midweek, Bayern enjoyed a 5-0 romp over Fortuna Duesseldorf. Defender Mathias Joergensen scored an early own-goal before Benjamin Pavard, Robert Lewandowski (2) and Davies scored for Bayern. With five games remaining, the defending champions, who have won their past eight league games, are comfortably on course for an eighth straight league title. Davies scored the best goal of the game when the fleet-footed defender pressed Duesseldorf into making a mistake, barged
The losing captain thanked the winning team’s players for their personal sacrifices leading into the match and a charter flight pilot received a big round of applause when his plane beat incoming fog to touch down after midnight following another game as feel-good stories off the field matched those on it as the National Rugby League (NRL) restarted its season in Australia over the weekend. The New Zealand Warriors’ 18-0 win over St George Illawarra was the Auckland-based team’s first of the season after three rounds and it could not have come at a better time. Due to international travel restrictions
Taiwan Steel celebrated a big win over Tatung in the Taiwan Premier League yesterday, while undefeated Taichung Futuro remained at the top of the table, although their lead is only one point. Four of the eight teams were in action, completing matches postponed the previous weekend due to rain, with Taipower and Hang Yuan playing out a scoreless draw in Kaohsiung. Taiwan Steel are sorting out their early-season problems as they chase the leaders and it showed against defending champions Tatung at the Jhubei Stadium in Hsinchu County. Haitian striker Benchy Astama netted a brace and midfielder Kuo Po-wei’s outstanding solo effort sent
DISTANCING RULES: The government said social distancing should be maintained during disputes and celebrations, but conceded it would not be possible during play The Premier League on Saturday was given British government approval to press ahead with its June 17 restart, although players will have to stay apart during goal celebrations and disputes to maintain social distancing. Further details of the league’s plans for dealing with COVID-19 cases have been disclosed with clubs likely to have to play even if they only have 15 fit squad members. In a further boost to the league’s restart plans, there were no positives in the fourth round of twice-weekly testing. Tests were conducted on 1,130 players and club personnel on Thursday and Friday as contact training resumed. The season