Penguins' Crosby wins Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP

Mon Jun 13, 2016 10:02am EDT
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(Reuters) - Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby capped off a renaissance season when he was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy on Sunday as the most valuable player in the National Hockey League’s Stanley Cup playoffs.

Crosby did not score in the best-of-seven series, won 4-2 by Pittsburgh, but he played a strong two-way game. He had a pair of assists in Game Six, including one on the game-winning goal and another on a late empty-net goal that sealed a Cup clinching 3-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks.

"It's not easy to get here," said Crosby. "Having won seven years ago at a young age, you probably take it for granted a little bit.

"You don't think you do at the time, but it's not easy to get to this point."

While the Penguins were dominant in the six-game series, their march to the championship began in a bumpy fashion last fall.

Crosby struggled mightily, checking in with a disappointing three goals and 11 points in his opening 20 games.

“We were just trying to find a way to keep our playoff hopes alive,” the 28-year-old Crosby said. “This wasn’t in the picture.

"We just got better and came together, especially in the second half.”

Crosby was much better in the second half, too.   Continued...

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman presents Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby (87) with the Conn Smythe Trophy after defeating the San Jose Sharks in game six of the 2016 Stanley Cup Final at SAP Center at San Jose. John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports