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Sidney Crosby realizes it’s not easy to hoist the Stanley Cup.
The Penguins captain has been one of the elite players in the NHL for a decade, but it took seven years for him to re-claim the league’s richest prize after first hoisting the greatest trophy in sports in 2009.
Still, after the Penguins took out the Sharks in six games in the Stanley Cup Final last month, they have retained most of their team, putting them as one of the odd’s on favorites to win the Cup in 2016-17.
Pittsburgh doesn’t have much roster turnover heading into next year and even re-signed Justin Schultz to a team-friendly deal, so there will definitely be a lot of confidence in the locker room next season.
The defending Stanley Cup champions will look to become the first team since the 1997 and 1998 Red Wings to win back-to-back Stanley Cups. While Crosby wouldn’t say he feels better about his team’s chances since its core has stayed intact, the Penguins captain is excited for what’s ahead.
“I don’t know about better, but I think it’s just a comfort level, knowing the roles, knowing the makeup of your team,” Crosby told NHL.com. “There shouldn’t be too much time where you have to adjust and figure out where you stand. There’s always that with a team, but there’s been a lot more of that the last couple of years because of the turnover. You have to be patient with that because it’s not easy to just start rolling game one. It takes time. To know there is more of an understanding of where everyone is going to play and they understand their role, that should be something that helps us right from the start.”
Crosby, 28, had 36 goals and 49 assists for 85 points in 80 games during the regular season for the Penguins and was a key contributor as they took out the Rangers (five games), Capitals (six games), Lightning (seven games) and Sharks (six games) en route to the Stanley Cup.
The center went 6-13–19 in 24 playoff games and won 52.4 percent of his face-offs to win the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Stanley Cup playoffs MVP.
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– NHL News