Penguins share their memories of Cup win
There is only one Stanley Cup, and the Penguins won it Friday with a spirited 2-1 victory over the defending champion Red Wings at Detroit's Joe Louis Arena in a tense Game 7 of the Final.
As they took turns raising the Cup and celebrating with friends and family, several members of the Penguins organization took time to share their euphoric thoughts — starting with forward Max Talbot, who scored their only goals in Game 7:
"Like I like to say, every morning I like to wake up and say today's the best day of my life. Well, today is really the best day of my life."
Captain and center Sidney Crosby, on sharing the Cup with Penguins icon, majority co-owner and his landlord, Mario Lemieux:
"That was amazing for me, personally. He's been so great with us for a long time. He's done so much for the team in Pittsburgh. But especially through this run, he was around us a lot. It was really nice to have him be a part of things. After that last loss in Game 5, he was down in the locker room and telling guys to stay with it. He was a real leader for this team, too."
General manager Ray Shero, on his joining late father and former Flyers coach Fred as a Cup-winner:
"'Win today, walk together forever,' I'm going to stick with that one. My dad said that on May 19, 1974, and it is so true. Every single guy, every coach, we're going to forever be linked together, and it's just a wonderful feeling. Every time we see the Cup or go to the Hockey Hall of Fame, my kids look for their (grandfather's) name. And now they'll see their dad's name. It's awesome."
Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, on silencing his critics:
"You've got to make your name, you know. Mine is going on the Cup."
Coach Dan Bylsma, on winning the Cup four months after he was hired to replace Michel Therrien:
"I haven't won something other than my son in knee hockey in the basement. I haven't won a lot of things since I was in high school. You know, it elevates your career to a different level."
Winger Petr Sykora, on winning the Cup again (he won in 2000 with New Jersey):
"I can't speak right now, and what would I say• This is happiness to me."
Defenseman Rob Scuderi, on the Penguins' journey from a first-round playoff exit in 2007, losing in the 2008 Final and winning the title this year:
"It's funny, you think about where we were a few years ago. We've come a long way with this core group. But at the end of the day, we all kind of expected this."
Winger Pascal Dupuis, on not having the words to describe his emotions:
"I never thought I'd be speechless. My wife can't believe it. But it's your dream coming true, so what can you say• That's the Stanley Cup, and I'm going to be on it."
Winger Chris Kunitz, on the Penguins' young stars Crosby and playoff MVP Evgeni Malkin:
"They're such emotional players. They are highly skilled, but they care so much about each other, and they'll do whatever it takes to be a part of it. Sid's got a bad knee, and he can barely skate, but he's on the bench trying to get just one shift. 'Geno' is throwing checks and playing defense all over the ice; that's the top scorer from the regular season and playoffs making smart plays because he knows the Cup is on the line. When your team has these young players, and they get it like that, it's rare. But so is a team like ours."
Defenseman Mark Eaton, on thousands of Penguins fans cheering them in Detroit for Game 7:
"This is unbelievable. When we scored that first goal, you could hear it. We looked at each other on the bench, and it was weird. This is their building, but our fans were so loud. I'm not surprised. I've been in Pittsburgh for three years, and I can tell you that the fan support has been — unbelievable is the only word I can think of."
Winger Miroslav Satan, on winning the Cup three months after he was sent to the minors for salary-cap reasons:
"I can't believe this ending for me. If somebody would write a story in Hollywood about me this year and show it to me, I'd say, 'No, it can't happen.' I've waited a decade after losing (the 1999 Final) with Buffalo. I didn't think this could happen at the end of this year, but I kept going for that little chance. Just that little chance. It was worth it."
Senior hockey advisor Ed Johnston, on the irony of the Penguins winning the Cup in front of former winger Marian Hossa, who opted to sign with Detroit last summer because he wanted to win a title:
"How do you like it that Satan raised the Cup ahead of Hossa• What Hossa did, I think it's unbelievable we came into his backyard and hoisted it, and he didn't. Poetic justice, I'd say."
Winger Matt Cooke, on the feel of the Cup:
"It's different than anything you imagine. The first time it felt like a feather. The second time it was heavier than I thought. But that first time — wow!"
Center Jordan Staal, on winning Game 7 with Crosby missing most of the game because of an injured left knee:
"We've always pushed through adversity. It was another bump in the road for our team. It was a big moment, but everybody stepped up and did the right things."
Defenseman Kris Letang, on thinking of late best friend Luc Boudron, who died in a motorcycle accident during the 2008 Final:
"(The Cup) was above my head, and I was thinking of just one person - Luc. This was for him from me."
CEO Ken Sawyer, who has been with the Penguins for 10 years, on that decade:
"It's so hard to describe. We've seen everything. Bankruptcy, trying to get the new arena, some seasons at the bottom of the standings — we've just been through everything. I've been involved in the NHL for 30 years, and this is my first time, and it's more special than I imagined. Can you believe that?"
Lemieux, on the past decade:
"It's been worthwhile all the way. We've gone through some very difficult times in Pittsburgh. That's how we got the draft picks that we got, finishing last every year. We made the decision to rebuild. It wasn't easy, but we went trough it. It paid off tonight."
Assistant coach Tom Fitzgerald, on joining Bylsma's staff on Feb. 15:
"These guys right here (his children) have been away from me for four months. I told them, 'It could be two months, and it could be four months.And if it's four months, it's a great thing.' It's a great thing. It's a great thing."
Winger Bill Guerin, on his three months with the Penguins:
"(Receiving the Cup from Crosby) was amazing, and I appreciate the other guys giving me the opportunity to do that and just being able to be a big part of this team. I love 'em. They're great guys. This is a great team. When I got traded to Pittsburgh, the Pens were in 10th (place in the Eastern Conference). I was in 30th (overall with the Islanders), and the trade happened, and we all just started bonding together immediately and climbing the ladder."
Defenseman Hal Gill, on the Cup changing everything:
"We make good money, but this is why you play. It's different, I can't explain it. Until (Friday) afternoon, I never really knew how bad I wanted it. All you think about when it's right there is getting it done."
Defenseman Brooks Orpik, on turning down more money from other teams to re-sign with the Penguins last summer and having it pay off:
"This is why I came back. Maybe other people had their reasons to leave. But this is why I wanted to stay. ... I just didn't want to drop it. My legs were cramping up there, I thought I was going to buckle. It's a surreal moment, something you always dream about and something I went over in my head about 80 times the last couple days. You see other people doing it, but until you do it yourself, it's a completely different thing. It's better than you could ever imagine."