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The Pittsburgh Penguins closed their 2009-10 season in dramatic fashion on Sunday, with a 6-5 overtime win on New York Islander ice. The game was meaningless, but it did get Sidney Crosby a share of the Rocket Richard Trophy, with his 50th and 51st goals of the season. He will split the title with Tampa's Steven Stamkos, who scored his 51st on an empty-netter with 14 seconds in their Sunday win against Florida. Crosby also added three assists for a five-point day, giving him a final tally of 109 for the season - second-highest in his career behind his 120 in 2006-07.

Jordan Leopold won it with 34.4 seconds in the extra period, Evgeni Malkin scored two goals, and Brent Johnson won his 10th game of the season for the Pens, who were playing without Brooks Orpik, Alexei Ponikarosvky, Matt Cooke, and Chris Kunitz. The game also featured a dropping of the gloves between Eric Godard and Joel Rechlicz:

With the regular season formalities now out of the way, a fanbase awaits to see if the Penguins will finally hit the long-awaited "on switch" for the second-season, where they once again meet Ottawa for the third time in four postseasons. The Pens and Sens played to a 2-2 draw in four games this season, most recently a 4-1 Ottawa win on January 28 at Mellon Arena. Ottawa was led in scoring this season by Daniel Alfredsson, (20/51/71) and Jason Spezza (23/34/57). They also boast former Penguin rabble-rouser Jarkko Ruutu, who will surely try to get under his former teammates' skin in this series.

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SantoGold said...

Sid had an assist on Godard's goal today. Getting that lug a goal should count for at least a half-goal for Sid, right?

Steve said...
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BurressWithButterflywings said...

It's ironic that people over the years said Ovie is better than Sid based strictly on the fact that Mongo score more goals than him.

Well, Sid has more goals and just as many points and doesn't play with Backstrom on his line full time.

People also knocked Sid when he won the scoring title with only 36 goals but 84 assists....... Sedin had 29 and 83. That has to be the lowest goal total for a Ross Trophy Winner in a long time? But that doesn't take anything away from Sedin's contribution and stats, he is tremendous.

Here is the point: Sidney Crosby is everything any real hockey fan wants to see on their team. He is a ridiculous setup man, a great goal scorer, a solid defensive center, a formidable faceoff man now, and he makes the biggest plays at the the biggest moments. That is an MVP right there.

He doesn't rely on his teammates to do the work to make him look good, he does it for them.

On another note, it's great to see a healthy Geno. I almost forgot just how freaking good he really is.

P.O. said...

Sid might have passed Sedin if the Pens could have kept themselves out of the penalty box.... I'm not looking at the box score but I'm pretty certain that they spent half of the first period on the penalty kill and Geno himself had atleast 3 minor penalties

Steve said...

Yup, plus they didn't exactly play with any desire to get him any more points in the 3rd period either. In fact, I think through the first 5 minutes of the 3rd, Sid took only one shift. No desire at all from Bylsma to get him the 52nd goal to break the tie with Stamkos. At least that would have been something to look back on this season as I think they'll be very fortunate to beat the Sens and that's where it will end.

BurressWithButterflywings said...
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Steve said...

Seemed like Tangradi also had about 15 minutes in the 3rd. The defense is bad and offensively they still can't get scoring contributions from anyone not wearing 87 and 71. Add to that probably Fleury's worst season to date and you have all the ingredients for a 1st round loss. I would actually rather see that and the excuse that they were simply out of energy and fatigued after 2 consecutive Finals appearances, than getting blown out in 4 by the Caps.

P.O. said...

i wouldnt say this is MAF's worst season (stats are nearly identical from last year) but i would say it is his most inconsistent year since very early in his career... he's been letting up some very soft goals... also, regarding Byslma's desire to get Sid 52... if Sid gets hurt in a meaningless game against the NYI chasing stats, Bylsma is crucified for having him out... i think he did a great job of balancing the playing time of guys like Sid and Geno while also getting Tangradi lots of ice time and giving Godard regular shifts... remember, while it was nice to win, this game meant absolutely nothing in the grand scheme of things...

Steve said...

Well, considering the team has little to no chance of doing much in the playoffs, I'd be happier with Sid getting 52 than anything else at this point. Anyone thinking they can win the East and compete for the Cup in June has been sniffing glue, Bylsma included.

Even though I'd love to be proven wrong, they simply don't have it this season for the reasons I've already stated and more. Combine that with a Caps team that is on a roll and playing much better than even last season and a NJ team that flat out owns the Pens and my thinking isn't simply negative for the sake of being negative.

There's a lot more logic and reasoning to it than just hoping they get lucky, find this "game" that they've been talking about all season and praying all the stars align. Those factors will get a team a couple playoff wins now and then, but not 16.

Louis Lipps is my homeboy said...

I don't think Stamkos had his 51st yet through 5 minutes of the third, I was keeping tabs on both games.

The Lightning had an empty net, and I believe were on the power play, when Stamkos got his with 13 seconds left. Kind of a cheap way to get a share of the trophy, but hey, we'd take it if the roles were reversed.

BTW, is it me, or since Ovechkin has emerged has the NHL and the national media outlet put more emphasis on the Richard Trophy? Growing up, the Richard didn't even exist, and even when they started it (1999), the Ross was still the most prestigious trophy to have because it indicated superior offensive skills in all facets, not just shooting.

Now it seems that since Ovechkin won 2 Richards in a row, outlets like ESPN pay more attention to the race for that trophy than they do the Ross, which I greatly disagree with.

The Art Ross will always be the ultimate trophy of offensive excellence. The Richard is 2nd. Especially when you consider that 2 people can share the Richard (saw it in half I say!), which is kind of BS. They need a tiebreaker for it like the Ross has.

Rant over, but I guess the best news is that Ovechkin will get NEITHER!

Sid or Miller has to be MVP this year, any other candidates out there?

Louis Lipps is my homeboy said...


Once Stamkos got 51, they pulled out all of the stops to get Sid his 52nd. Like I said earlier, I don't think Stamkos had scored his 51st yet 5 minutes into the 3rd of our game.

Steve seems like a good kid, and having Sid share it with him is way better than letting Jokevechkin get his mitts on it.

BurressWithButterflywings said...

Stamkos has a sweet right handed shot and he is a solid all around player. He is certainly on his way to being amongst the NHL elite.

I am glad for Sid, he is such a determined competitor with limitless talent. I really think he has got to be the Hart Trophy winner this year. Look at how many GWG, Go ahead, or game tying goals and assists he has.

Sedin has had an outstanding season and deserves the Ross, but I think having the lowest goal total for Ross winner in 61 years has to deflect some of the Hart votes away? Either way, he is a candidate as well.