Prisuta: Pens Follow Plan to Cup
Prisuta, Mike, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
DETROIT -- They turned a ton of grit into 35 pounds of silver.
They did it one shift at a time and one period at a time and they did it together.
They did it in Game 7.
They did it on the road.
They did it against the defending champions.
And they did it without Sidney Crosby for almost the entire final 34:30.
In winning the Stanley Cup for the third time in franchise history and the first of the Crosby Era, in taking the title from a Red Wings team that dressed everyone it wanted to with the exception of Andreas Lilja, the Penguins left no doubt Friday night at Joe Louis Arena.
"I'm proud of these guys, especially for Sid to lift that Cup at center ice, finally achieving his dream," Penguins majority co- owner Mario Lemieux said amid an on-ice celebration that included Penguins players embracing their families and Penguins fans -- thousands of them -- surrounding the glass and embracing the Penguins.
This was the crowning achievement in what has become the so-far brief but oh-so-spectacular coaching career of Dan Bylsma, and the shining example of what can happen when a team plays Bylsma Hockey with unshakable belief.
This is who they are.
This is how they play.
And this is what they've become.
Stanley Cup champions.
In stunning the Red Wings, 2-1, the Penguins went to the net, and they went for the Cup.
They realized their dream in a manner no one dreams about.
At least not one anyone dreamed about prior to Feb. 15, when Bylsma arrived and began to show them the way.
Nobody dreams of relentlessly back-checking, as Evgeni Malkin did when Valtteri Filppula had a golden opportunity to open the scoring early (a Marc-Andre Fleury poke-check helped immensely there, too).
Nobody dreams of tying up an opponent's stick, as Mark Eaton did to prevent Henrik Zetterberg from accepting a pinpoint Pavel Datsyuk pass that found its target just off the right side of Fleury's crease. …