The Detroit Red Wings won the Stanley Cup on foreign ground as they defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins at the Mellon Arena in game #6, 3-2.
We all know about the outcome and the game itself, so this recap will be a statistical one dedicated to the Red Wings.
Detroit captured its 11th Stanley Cup in franchise history. The Red Wings trail fellow Original Six teams Toronto (13) and Montreal (24) for the all-time lead in captured Stanley Cups. They lead amonsgt American NHL franchises.
Swedish-born Nicklas Lidstrom became the first ever European captain in NHL history to hoist the cup high over his head.
Fellow Swede Henrik Zetterberg took home some extra hardware as he was named the winner of this year's Conn Smythe trophy, awarded to the most valuable player of the playoffs. Zetterberg becomes just the second Swede to win the coveted trophy, joining fellow teammate and captain Nicklas Lidstrom. He is also just the 3rd non-Canadian out of 43 previous winners to win the award (joining Lidstrom and Brian Leetch). He finished with 13 goals and 14 assists in the playoffs.
Zetterberg, Niklas Kronwall and Mikael Samuelsson also all joined Lidstrom in the very prestigious 'Triple Gold Club,' as they added a Stanley Cup ring to an Olympic Gold medal and World Championship both won in 2006.
Zetterberg scored the Red Wings' third goal of this game, thus giving him the Stanley Cup winning goal.
There were 20 games in this year's postseason in which the Red Wings out-shot their opponents. The Wings were 15-5 in the playoffs when they had more shots, including 4-2 in the Final. They were out-shot once and tied once.
Detroit held a 30-22 advantage in shots in game 6. The Penguins were out shot by the Red Wings by a 222-142 margin in the six-game series. Detroit registered 30+ shots per game in each of the 6 finals games, and outshot Pittsburgh by at least 7 each game as well.
The cup win is Detroit's fourth in 11 years (1997, 1998, 2002, 2008). Five players were on all four Cup winning teams: Lidstrom, Tomas Holmstrom, Kris Draper, Kirk Maltby and Darren McCarty.
Chris Osgood was sensational in the playoffs, playing in 19 games, winning 14 and losing 4 after replacing a struggling Dominik Hasek in the first round series vs. Nashville. He posted a 1.55 goals-against average in the Playoffs. Osgood surrendered only nine goals in six games in the Final, one of which went into triple overtime. Osgood set a record for the most wins by a goaltender who didn't start his team's first playoff game with 14. Hasek won Games 1 and 2 against Nashville, lost Game 3 and was yanked after allowing three early goals in Game 4. Osgood replaced him and played every minute the rest of the way.
Detroit defenseman Niklas Kronwall led the way in defenseman scoring these playoffs with 15 points, all assists.
The Red Wings killed off 2 5-on-3 Penguins powerplays this series; one 1:26 in length, the other, 1:33.
How important was home-ice advantage? The last 10 Cup winners held that advantage...The last team to win a Cup when opening on the road was the Red Wings against Philadelphia in 1997.
The Red Wings have won 62 playoff series all-time, including all four this year. That's second to Montreal (86) on the all-time list. Detroit passed Toronto (58) by winning its first-round series against Nashville.
Congratulations to the DETROIT RED WINGS, 2008 STANLEY CUP CHAMPIONS!
They have proven how valuable experience is in the quest for Lord Stanley's Cup.
Although the Penguins failed to reach the ultimate prize, they can rest assured that they are not far off. With the talent core they have at such a young age, success is sure to come around for the Pens in the near future. Their future is as bright as any in this league if it isn't the brightest of all already. They fought valiantly and learned some tough lessons, but these lessons can be used as motivation to get right back on the horse as early as next year...only now, they'll know what it feels like to lose once you're so close, and likely won't let it happen again.