Skip to main content

Pittsburgh Up 2-0 In 2017 Stanley Cup Final

The Pittsburgh Penguins have taken a commanding 2-0 lead in the 2017 Stanley Cup final.

How commanding? Since the Final went to the best-of-seven format in 1939, teams that have taken a 2-0 series lead have gone on to capture the Stanley Cup 90% of the time (45 of 50 series).

This series continues to lack the emotion of all the series in rounds one, two and three, and has been down right dull for stretches.

It is also a weird one as Nashville appears to be the better team for lengthy stretches of play, only to have the opportunistic Penguins strike quickly.

Jake Guentzel picked up his second goal of the game just 10 seconds into the third period before Scott Wilson and Evgeni Malkin scored 15 seconds apart as Pittsburgh ran away for a 4-1 victory in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final.

Having game-breaking talent in the likes of Malkin, Sidney Crosby and Phil Kessel can allow for such luxury, but it is the rookie Guentzel who continues to be quite the story. The Nebraska native leads all NHL players with 12 goals.

With the Penguins two wins away from repeating as the Stanley Cup champions, Guentzel is a serious contender for the Conn Smythe Trophy. With Sidney Crosby being relatively quiet since his concussion scare, and with Pittsburgh changing up goalies, playoffs point scoring leader Evgeni Malkin his his main competition should Pittsburgh win the series.

Guentzel's second goal on Wednesday was his second consecutive game winning goal in these finals. He became just the second rookie to collect consecutive game-winning goals in the Stanley Cup Final since the NHL assumed full possession of the trophy in 1926-27. The other: Roy Conacher, who potted the winner for the Bruins in Games 3, 4 and 5 in 1939 vs. Toronto.

Guentzel is now two goals behind Dino Ciccarelli's Stanley Cup record of 14 post-season goals by a rookie, set in 1981. He may or may not catch Dino, but he is on pace to become the first NHL rookie to lead all scorers in goals in the Stanley Cup playoff history. The only players who likely could catch him might be Malkin (9 goals) and Filip Forsberg (8 goals).

Guentzel is two points behind Ciccarelli's rookie record of 19 points. He also broke the record for points by a US born rookie, surpassing Joe Mullen and Jeremy Roenick.

Guentzel's strong post-season must rank him among the all time great Stanley Cup rookies, right beside the modern-day likes of Ciccarelli, Ken Dryden, Patrick Roy and Claude Lemieux.

Before we go, here's some more Loose Pucks from the NHL's Morning Skate media release:

Jake Guentzel’s goal 10 seconds into the third frame was one second shy of the fastest to begin any period in Stanley Cup Final history. The record of 0:09 was set by Montreal’s Brian Skrudland in overtime of Game 2 in 1986 at CGY.

Guentzel’s second goal also stood as the fastest to begin any period in Penguins playoff history. The previous record of 12 seconds was set by Sidney Crosby on April 14, 2008 at OTT (3rd period) and matched by Crosby in Game 1 of this year’s Second Round at WSH (2nd period).

The Predators suffered consecutive losses for the first time since April 2-4 . . . Penguins forward Chris Kunitz (0-2—2) posted his third straight multi-point performance (2-5—7) . . . Teammate Evgeni Malkin (1-0—1) collected his League-leading 26th point of the postseason (9-17—26 in 21 GP) . . . The Penguins picked up their fifth consecutive home win and ninth of the playoffs, equaling a single-year franchise record


Popular posts from this blog

100 Greatest Hockey Players Of All Time

What follows is a listing of the 100 greatest hockey players of all time, in my opinion. As discussed earlier, the definition of greatness is a very personalized endeavor and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it.
While there is no way of ever truly ranking the top 100 definitively, it is important for the creators of such lists to be open and transparent of how the came to their conclusions. That accountability allows the reader to better understand the process. 

Although admittedly I'm using a completely unscientific formula, I weigh career achievements (era statistics, awards, championships) and legacy (impact on and off ice, peak dominance) equally high. I rank player ability as the third most important ingredient, as first and foremost as a tie breaker. Hence, I'm not necessarily looking for the better player, as in text book definitions of what a hockey player should be, but for players with the greatest careers and greatest legacies. Therefore the best player is not n…

Top Ten Junior Players Of All Time

Let's take a look at the Top Ten junior players of all time. For the purposes of this list we will at players in the WHL, OHL and QMJHL only.

10. Pat Lafontaine, Verdun, QMJHL Rookie-record 104 goals, 234 points in 1982-83; major junior player of the year.

9. Denis Potvin, Ottawa, OHL 254 games, 95 goals, 234 assists, 329 points. Broke Bobby Orr's junior records.

8. John Tavares, Oshawa, OHL 215 goals, 433 points in 247 games; most goals in OHL history; eligibility rules changed to admit him at 15; 2006 major junior rookie of the year, 2007 major junior player of the year; two world juniors, named 2009 all-star, top forward and MVP.

7. Sidney Crosby, Rimouski, QMJHL 120 goals, 303 points in 121 games; two-time major junior player of the year; silver and gold with Canada at two world juniors.

6. Eric Lindros, Oshawa, OHL 97 goals, 216 points in 95 games; one Memorial Cup victory; three world junior tournaments; major junior player of the year in 1991.

5. Mike Bossy, Laval, Q…

Greatest Hockey Legends: M