The Sharks advanced to their first Stanley Cup Finals since entering the league in 1991, while the Penguins are looking for a repeat title.
The Pittsburgh Penguins enter the 2016 Stanley Cup Finals having won 4 straight games to win the Eastern Conference Championship Series over the Tampa Bay Lightning after trailing 3-2 in that series. During last year’s Cup finals, the Pens lost to the Chicago Blackhawks during a hard fought six game series that included 2 convincing home wins for the Hawks.
What is the Stanley Cup and how is it awarded?
The Stanley Cup is a trophy awarded to the National Hockey League (NHL) playoff winner. It represents the victory in ice hockey’s championship series, which is one of the major professional sports leagues of North America. The Stanley Cup, originally called the Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup, was donated by Sir Frederick Arthur Stanley, then–Governor General of Canada, in 1892 as a prize to the Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup Association.
It is one of the most recognizable trophies in North American sports and symbolizes the supremacy of team continuity. Since its beginning (1909), only six teams have won the Stanley Cup: The Montreal Canadiens (23 times); Toronto Maple Leafs (13 times); Detroit Red Wings (11 times); Chicago Blackhawks (6 times), New York Islanders (4 times) and Boston Bruins (3 times).
Who won Stanley cup in 2016
The Pittsburgh Penguins won the Stanley Cup in 2016. The Penguins beat the Sharks four games to two and won their fourth championship and second consecutive title. This was also the first time a team from the Metropolitan Division won the Stanley Cup since the Carolina Hurricanes in 2006.
The 2016 NHL Stanley Cup finals was the championship series of the National Hockey League’s (NHL) 2015–16 season, and the culmination of the 2016 Stanley Cup playoffs. The Eastern Conference champion Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Western Conference champion San Jose Sharks four games to two to win their fourth championship in franchise history. This was also an NHL record-extending tenth consecutive Finals appearance by the Penguins, and their fifth consecutive Stanley Cup championship, both of which they had shared with the Detroit Red Wings.
Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player of the playoffs. Goaltender Matt Murray, who was 20 years old when he won his first Stanley Cup in 2016 following Marc-André Fleury’s injury in Game 1 of the first round, was named the league’s best goaltender.
How does a team make it to the Stanley Cup Finals?
The NHL playoffs begin in April with the top three teams from each division advancing to win their respective conference and playing for the Stanley Cup. The two division winners earn a bye to the second round, while the remaining eight teams (four from each conference) play best-of-five series to advance to the second round. From there, it’s a best-of-seven series with the two remaining conference winners advancing to the Stanley Cup Finals. The winner is crowned at the end of June.
The Penguins claimed their fourth Stanley Cup title, third in the last nine seasons, with a six-game victory over the Sharks. Pittsburgh goalie Matt Murray stopped 46 of 48 shots in Game 6 to earn his second straight shutout – this one coming on the road and on just two days’ rest after back-to-back shutouts capped off his first Stanley Cup Finals.
The Penguins’ back-to-back championships mark the third time in four seasons that a team went back-to-back as defending champion, following Chicago Blackhawks (2015) and Los Angeles Kings (2014). It’s also the fifth time since 2000 Pittsburgh has won at least two titles in that span, adding to those from 1991, 1992 and 2009.