PITTSBURGH — Another Stanley Cup, and another Conn Smythe Trophy for Sidney Crosby.
Crosby was named the most valuable player to his team in the playoffs on Sunday for the second year in a row after his Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Nashville Predators 2-0 in Game 6 of the final for their second straight Stanley Cup.
The Pittsburgh captain led the Cup final in scoring with a goal and seven points in six games and finished second in scoring during the post-season with eight goals and 27 points in 25 games.
"There’s so many guys who could have easily won that, and I think we just had a group of guys that understood big moments and knew how to find ways to win," said Crosby.
Crosby becomes just the third back-to-back winner of the award, which was first handed out in 1965, after former Penguins captain Mario Lemieux (1991, 1992) and Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Bernie Parent (1974, 1975).
He also becomes just the sixth player to win multiple Conn Smythes.
When asked who he would have voted for, Crosby listed a group of teammates he believed were worthy of the award.
"I think (Evgeni Malkin) comes to mind right away," said Crosby. "If you could somehow put our two goaltenders on there — you know, there were games that they stole for us throughout the playoffs.
"Tonight you look at an example of the way (Matt Murray) played. (Marc-Andre Fleury), throughout that whole Washington series. We were given no shot, no chance, and he just kept us in there, so those two guys come to mind. (Jake Guentzel), a young guy to come in like that and score the way he did is pretty incredible."
Crosby has already won the Rocket Richard Trophy this season and is a Hart Memorial Trophy finalist.
"I would have to believe that with what Sid has been able to accomplish in his career to this point would put him in the company of the all-time greats," said Penguins coach Mike Sullivan.
"You know, he’s arguably the best player of his generation, and he’s a guy that just knows how to win. And so he’s done it in all different venues, whether it be the NHL and Stanley Cups to the World Cup to the Olympics."