Pittsburgh Penguins win fourth Stanley Cup ChampionshipPosted by: Charlie Smith
The Pittsburgh Penguins lived up to their status as hockey betting favorites and defeated the San Jose Sharks 3-1 in game 6 of the NHL playoff Stanley Cup series to win their 4th Lord Stanley’s Mug. In adherence to the Seven Year Rule, this is the Penguins first championship victory in exactly seven years – the last coming on June 12th, 2009. The win is also meaningful because, as fans who bet on hockey know, Pittsburgh was not always the favorite. For starters, the Penguins switched head coaches two months into the season, hiring Mike Sullivan to take over from Mike Johnston. Hopefully, they all referred to him as coach Mike so that no one noticed the change.
Moreover, the roster went through a makeover the like of which is usually reserved for struggling sitcoms. In spite of all this turmoil – or maybe even because of it – the Penguins ended up as the 6th team to win the Stanley Cup after changing coaches during the season. But Pittsburgh gambled as any hockey betting fan would since the offseason, and the gambled paid off in spades. The Penguins traded Kasperi Kapanen, Scott Harrington, Nick Spaling, and conditional first- and third-round draft picks for Phil Kessel and two other guys, and they also got Nick Bonino in exchange for for Brandon Sutter and a 3rd round pick – and just like that, they had two thirds of the vaunted HBK line.
Speaking of which, Pittsburgh’s offense was as crucial in game 6 of the finals as it was during the rest of the playoffs – and the regular season too, for that matter. As usual, the Penguins outshot the Sharks, this time 27 to 19, and also as usual, they scored first – which they did in 5 out of the 6 games, the only exception being game 5. All told, Pittsburgh led for 49:15 of the 374:53 played in the series. On Sunday night, Brian Dumoulin scored a goal off a power play at 8:16 of the first period. Things started looking good for hockey betting fans who put their money on the Penguins.
Logan Couture tied the proceedings at 6:27 of the second, but San Jose’s joy was short lived – a minute and 20 seconds to be exact. Kris Letang scored off an assist from Conn Smythe Trophy winner Sidney Crosby, thus earning the distinction of being the 4th NHL player in history to play a part in all of his team’s game-winning goals in a Cup Final (he had an assist on each of the Pittsburgh’s other game-winning goals in this series). Finally, fans who bet on hockey must recognize the contribution of rookie goalie Matt Murray, who was first added to the fray as a substitute for concussed Marc-André Fleury but earned his spot on the starting lineup.