Sidney Crosby did it … again.
While the Pittsburgh Penguins accomplished the rare feat of repeating as Stanley Cup champions, Crosby managed to win a second consecutive Conn Smythe Trophy. This continues a trend of Crosby meeting and sometimes exceeding some of Mario Lemieux’s greatest accomplishments.
(“The Magnificent One” managed back-to-back championships and playoff MVPs himself, but Crosby has more Stanley Cup Final points and now owns an extra ring.)
Now, it must be said that like last year, the Penguins boasted plenty of crucial contributors beyond Crosby.
Evgeni Malkin is the most obvious alternative choice, actually managing one more point (28) during this postseason than Crosby, who generated 27. Matt Murray missed too much time to be a legitimate MVP choice, but he was sensational in crunch time once again. Phil Kessel and rookie sensation Jake Guentzel also provided plenty of offense for the Penguins.
The Penguins defied expectations in winning a Stanley Cup without Kris Letang. Ultimately, Crosby was the biggest reason why.