Tuesday, April 23, 2019

In the #8 Sports Moment of 2009, I briefly mentioned the #7 pick when I talked about the Pittsburgh Penguins winning the Stanley Cup. Sure, the Penguins win was great for Pittsburgh fans, but overall, kinda anti-climatic compared to the Penguins road to the Stanley Cup playoff round.

In fact, the match-up of Pittsburgh against the Washington Capitals in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals was one of the most anticipated events in the NHL in…..well, decades. Well except that thing last year when they turned Wrigley field into an ice rink for the Winter Classic. That was cool!

My #7 Sports moment of 2009 goes to the 7 game series between the Capitals and the Penguins.

Ever since Mark Messier, Mario, Lemieux and Wayne Gretzky left the league, hockey has had a severe shortage of superstar player. Just check out the top selling NHL jerseys for the last 10 years or so. The newbies barely make the countdown. And lack of superstars means lack of fan excitement.

But rising stars Sid “the kid” Crosby and Alex Ovechkin are quickly changing all of that. And the Penguins-Capitals match-up put the two fan favorite players against each other. It was like having a Kobe-LeBron NBA playoff battle or a Manning-Brady showdown in the NFL post-season. The two big names going head to head to finally prove who is the best.

And, on top of that, the series also featured the NHL’s regular season scoring leader, Evgeni Malkin, and three past NHL’s scoring leaders, each of whom had over 100 points this season. That means the three best players—and fan favorite players—in the world would be playing at the same time. That’s major hype.

And unlike most hyped up match-ups, this one was as good as the hype. Most of the time one or both players gets some kind of performance anxiety and the other totally dominates them. But it took all 7 games in the series for the Penguins to peck out the Capitals.

Going into the 7th game, the Penguins had scored 23 goals to 22 for the Capitals — about as even as two teams could be after six games. And three of those games went into overtime. Five out of six games were won by only a single goal.

The 7th game was all about the Penguins but that’s not what will be remembered. I doubt most people will even talk about how 2009 was the year the Penguins won the Stanley Cup again. It’s going to be “you know the year that Ovechkin and Crosby [or the Capitals and Penguins] played each other in that 7 game semi-final series! That was the best playoff series ever!”

Even Penguin fans were a little let down and sad that their team still had to go on to the Stanley Cup round against the Red Wings because they knew, after the 7 game battle with Washington, it was going to be very anti-climatic.

About the author: Jennifer Taglione is the owner of this fabulous website Stiletto Sports. Despite writing well over 500 posts, she still maintains that she is not a sports writer! She is however a huge fan of Kurt Warner, Larry Fitzgerald, Mark Sanchez, the Celtics, and totally kicks butt on March Madness brackets! Connect with her by following her on Twitter @StilettoSportsJ and subscribing to her weekly newsletter. For more info check out the About the Editor page!

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2 Responses

  1. Mike Said,

    I’m not a huge hockey fan, but that was an amazing series…I even watched it when there wasn’t a baseball game on.

    Posted on December 28th, 2009 at 5:00 pm

  2. Stiletto Jen Said,

    Yeah these two have really motivated me to get into hockey this year

    Posted on January 3rd, 2010 at 6:08 pm

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