2016 Stanley Cup Final: Penguins glory in 61 fun stats

Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby (87) and defenseman Kris Letang celebrate after beating the San Jose Sharks in Game 6 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Finals in San Jose, Calif., Sunday, June 12, 2016. The Penguins won 3-1 to win the series 4-2. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images via AP, Pool)

“I never dreamed of this one.” — Phil Kessel

The 2016 Stanley Cup Final brought us a first-time appearance by the San Jose Sharks, a Metallica cameo, a slew of unlikely heroes, more blocked shots than Brent Burns wants to talk about, and yet another shiny moment for the Sidney Crosby story. We recount the story of hockey’s championship series through 61 statistics.

1 all-animal Stanley Cup Final in history. This one:

1 playoff meeting in history between San Jose and Pittsburgh

50/1 odds of seeing this final matchup at the beginning of the post-season

6 mid-season NHL replacement head coaches to ever guide their team to a championship, including Pittsburgh’s Mike Sullivan


MORE MATH MADE FUN: Story of the playoff in stats — Round 1 | Round 2 | Round 3


2 out of every 2 Sedin twins who predicted the Sharks would win the Cup

3 first-overall draft picks (Joe Thornton, Sidney Crosby, Marc-Andre Fleury) featured in the 2016 final, the most in 25 years; 1991’s final starred Bobby Smith, Mike Modano and Mario Lemieux

10 pounds, on average, that each Shark (207 lbs.) outweighs each Penguin (197 lbs.)

2 more Canadians on the Sharks (11) than on the Penguins (nine)

4 emjois in the handle of Twitter user Jordin, whose brother spray-painted a pretty accurate Sharks logo on the family lawn:

5 famous Dundee city centre penguins who represented for their cousins in Pittsburgh:

2 times in history the opening two goals of the final were both scored by rookies, 1924 and 2016:

8-0 Penguins record when Bryan Rust scores a goal

11 times, in quick succession, play-by-play man Harnarayan Singh called “Bonino!” upon Nick’s scoring the Game 1 winner. Beautiful:

12 straight games the Penguins outshot their opponent, a streak that ended when San Jose finally outshot the Pens 24-20 in Game 4

179-120 margin by which the Pens outshot the Sharks in the series, an average of 12 shots per game

888 career NHL games (regular season and playoffs) over 13 seasons played by Penguins defenceman Trevor Daley — the first player captain Sidney Crosby handed the Cup

0 career Cup Final games, due to a broken ankle suffered in Round 3. “I do feel sorry for myself,” Daley said.

7 hours before Game 1 that the wife of the Sharks’ Justin Braun announced the death of her father, hockey player Tom Lysiak, on Twitter:

$575,000 salary of Pittsburgh rookie and Game 2 overtime hero Conor Sheary, the lowest-paid player in the final and linemate of Sidney Crosby

30 NHL teams (i.e., all of ’em) that decided not to draft Sheary or San Jose starting goaltender Martin Jones

4-0 Penguins’ record when Sheary scores a goal

71 percentage (17 of 24) of faceoffs won by Crosby in Game 2

40 percentage of Game 2 faceoffs won by Logan Couture, who accused Crosby of cheating at the dot

56 points, combined, in the playoffs for the HBK Line

7 pounds, 1 ounce, birth weight of newborn Nikita Malkin

71 sweater number of Nikita’s dad, Evgeni

13 blocked shots by Pittsburgh in an average regular-season game

38 blocked shots by Pittsburgh in Game 3

12 of those shots were fired by Brent Burns

17 age of Sharks coach Peter DeBoer when he met Muhammad Ali on prom night. Ali was honoured prior to Game 3:

6 major team sport championships hosted in the Bay Area since 2010 (two world series, two NBA Finals, one Super Bowl, now its first Stanley Cup Final)

6 seasons Game 3 hero Joonas Donskoi played professionally in the Finnish Elite League before the Sharks gave the forward an NHL shot in 2015-16:

6 times Metallica’s Master of Puppets has been certified platinum; the heavy metal band sang “The Star-Spangled Banner” to open Game 4 in San Jose while wearing No. 81 sweaters in honour of the year they formed:

34 NHL games played by Pittsburgh’s Matt Murray without losing consecutively. Murray is 6-0 following a loss in the playoffs

0 sharks with lasers

1 penguin with lasers:

6 rookies in NHL history to score an OT winner in the final

2 of those goals that arrived in this series (by Sheary and Donskoi)

13 of the last 18 games in the Stanley Cup Final have been decided by one goal dating to the sixth and final contest in 2013

3 NHL post-seasons that have not featured a series sweep since all four rounds went to a best-of-seven format in 1987: 1991, 2002 and 2016

24 times DJ Skratch Bastid diced up Bob Cole’s “Oh baby!” in my favourite Hockey Night in Canada intro of the final:

104 games, length of Ian Cole’s goal drought before the D-man opened the scoring in Game 4:

20,000 radio listeners who supported the idea to change the name of Murray Avenue in Squirrel Hill to Matt Murray Avenue on the day of Game 5:

436:50 consecutive playing time, from Game 5 of the Eastern Conference final to Game 5 of the Cup Final, Pittsburgh never trailed (despite suffering two overtime losses in that span)

56 years (and counting) since a professional Pittsburgh sports team won a championship at home

$1,349 cheapest Stubhub price of a ticket to Game 5 in Pittsburgh on game day:

5:06 time it took for the Sharks and Penguins to score four goals in Game 5, the fastest four goals to kick off a Cup Final game in history

44 saves made by San Jose’s Martin Jones in Game 5’s victory, the most in a regulation game since Johnny Bower made 43 stops in 1967

34 road wins by the Sharks in 2015-16 (regular season and playoffs), the most by an NHL team ever

4 players to ever score three points in one period while facing elimination in the final, including Logan Couture in Game 5

30 total points by Couture, your 2016 playoff scoring champ:

2011 year Guinness World Records recognized Downton Abbey — DeBoer’s flight entertainment of choice — as the most critically acclaimed English-language TV series

9 number the Sharks laid out in T-shirts prior to Game 6 to honour Gordie Howe in the upper deck:

2 general managers in history to win the Stanley Cup managing at least two NHL different franchises: Tommy Gorman (Senators, Blackhawks, Maroons, Canadiens) and now Jim Rutherford (Hurricanes and Penguins)

4-0 Penguins’ all-time road record with a chance to clinch the Cup

4 of Pittsburgh’s game-winning goals (all of ’em) in which Kris Letang factored — including scoring the Cup winner:

4 players in history to factor in all four Cup Final game-winning goals: Letang, Milt Schmidt, Jean Beliveau and Wayne Gretzky

2 players in history to have won Olympic gold, World Championship gold, World Junior Championship gold, Stanley Cup, the Hart Trophy and the Conn Smythe Trophy: Joe Sakic and Sidney Crosby

17 consecutive seasons in which the NHL has crowned a new champion

106 hockey games, each, played by both the Sharks and Penguins this season

18, 19 place of the Sharks and Penguins, respectively, in the NHL standings at Christmas:

(Statistics pilfered with love from SN Stats, Elias, NHL, Twitter, and sometimes just counting stuff old-school.)