A fond look back on the year that was for the Pens.
5. Crosby Dominates the Rangers
You could really pick your poison here. In a year filled with great Crosby shows, this was probably the best. Crosby scored one of his two hat tricks on the year and added two assists as the Pens absolutely dismantled the Rangers two days after Thanksgiving.
4. Dupuis Beats Ottawa
What a year for Dupuis. The “throw-in” the Atlanta Thrashers sent over in the Hossa deal (don’t tell Shero he was a throw-in) had his best year since 2002-03, nearly cresting the 20 goal mark. His overtime goal to end the series against Ottawa capped a three-goal comeback by the Pens, and was the exclamation point on a great series from Dupuis.
3. Crosby Nets 50+, Ties for Rocket Richard Trophy
Alright, who honestly believed THIS would ever happen? We thought we knew the type of player that Sidney Crosby is, but Sid threw us for a loop on this one. He has the talent of a star athlete with the mentality of a fourth-liner, someone who has to look to improve his game every year just to make the team. As per Sid’s behavior, he brushed his accomplishment under the covers and focused on moving the team forward, but you have to believe that he’s quite proud of this one.
2. Bill Guerin Ties it with 0.4 seconds left/Dupuis beats the Bruins in OT
It’s usually not a good thing when the best game of your season is one that was played in mid-November, but not much can top this one. The Pens, in the midst of a four game losing streak, were playing a back-and-forth game with the Bruins, only to go down 5-4 in the waning moments of the third. The Pens, seemingly unable to get out of their own zone, lead a rush up ice that culminated with a Guerin’s shot of the year to beat Tim Thomas with 0.4 seconds left. The OT lasted only a minute and a half before Jordan Staal stole a puck from Tim Thomas and dished it out front to Pascal Dupuis who provided the game winner.
1. The Pens say goodbye to Mellon Arena
No matter how bad the outcome was, it’s hard not to put this at #1. The moment the Penguins all raised their sticks to their fans, and offered up the final toast to Mellon Arena. One of those rare moments where everyone, fans and players alike, got to say their goodbyes.
Let’s hope the #1 moment next year is a parade.