Pittsburgh Penguins

Penguins Reward the Fans Who Had Faith

PITTSBURGH - JUNE 15:  Sidney Crosby #87 of the Pittsburgh Penguins holds the Stanley Cup as Maxime Talbot #25 of the Penguins sprays the crowd during Stanley Cup Champion Victory Parade on June 15, 2009 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
Michael GasparinoCorrespondent IJune 15, 2009

I remember watching the Penguins play the Islanders at the Coliseum earlier this season and thinking, these guys don't look that good at all. The Pens were the defending Eastern Conference champions, and had two all-world players in Sidney Crosby and Yvgeni Malkin, and yet there was something missing.

Well, they found it. They fired their coach in mid-February after four months of uninspired play and replaced him with Dan Bylsma of Wilkes-Barre (I know, Who?), then added Bill Guerin for a conditional draft pick, and the march was on.

They rallied to beat the Capitals and Alexander Ovechkin in seven games, got a vacation with a four-game sweep of Carolina, then resurrected themselves from a 2-0 deficit in the Stanley Cup Finals to beat the Red Wings in seven, winning the final game on the road.

Wow.

So congratulations to Guerin, who was given a shot to win another Cup and got it, along with ex-Islanders teammates Miro Satan and Ruslan Fedotenko.

Like the Blackhawks and the Bruins, the Penguins also provide Islanders fans with hope. Another team that was dismal a couple of seasons ago, now winning games and giving their fans plenty to get excited about. The Pens also were in danger of leaving Pittsburgh if they didn't get a new arena.

They got their building—it's going up right across the street from the Igloo in fact—and now they have the Stanley Cup.

Coincidence? Charles Wang probably doesn't think so.

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