DETROIT – Saturday night’s Stanley Cup Final showcased some of the NHL’s brightest young stars.
But, a few legends were recognized as well.
Pittsburgh’s Mario Lemieux and Detroit’s Steve Yzerman dropped ceremonial first pucks between current Penguins captain Sidney Crosby and Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom.
The fans at Joe Louis Arena cheered Lemieux, but gave Yzerman the loudest ovation.
Fans attending the Stanley Cup Final can experience some history along with some hockey.
Pittsburgh’s Mellon Arena is the NHL’s oldest venue, while Detroit’s Joe Louis Arena is up there in years, too. Nevertheless, both buildings have played host to some great players, teams and moments.
“It's not too often you come to a historic place like this. I think everyone enjoys being here, and we grew up watching some of the teams that have won here,” Crosby said. “There are not too many older buildings left. To be here and at the Mellon, it's pretty unusual.”
SID’S STANLEY CUP MEMORIES
This Stanley Cup Final is the first of what Crosby hopes will be many in his career. He remembers some of his first Stanley Cup memories while growing up in Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia.
“When Montreal won in ’93, that’s probably my first memory, looking back. They were my favorite team growing up. I remember seeing them lift the Cup. That's probably my first memory,” he said. “One that always sticks out in my mind was probably when Doug Weight lifted the Cup and had a separated shoulder. Nobody thought he could play and there he is lifting the Stanley Cup with a separated shoulder he could barely get over his head. Those two moments probably stick out most to me.”
Penguins winger Gary Roberts, who celebrated his 42nd birthday Friday, was not in Pittsburgh’s lineup for Game 1. However, that doesn’t mean he won’t be on the ice in the future.
“Obviously it’s not an easy decision, no doubt about that. But in the meantime we’re more than satisfied with Tyler Kennedy and what he brings to the lineup. He’s got speed and he’s playing with a lot of intensity,” Penguins coach Michel Therrien said. “We’ve got Jarkko Ruutu; he’s been really good for us. You got Adam Hall; he’s got a role with our team; he kills penalties; he’s good to take faceoffs on the right?hand side. And, you’ve got Georges Laraque. He’s a physical presence that we like. So, it’s something to say, ‘Yes, we’re going to bring another player.’ But, the toughest decision is not that, so who are you going to take out? And those guys did a great job, a great job so far.
“And that’s the number one reason why that we didn’t change the lineup. It’s not that we don't want Gary Roberts in our lineup. Yes, we want him. That’s been part of being a good team. We’re a good team. We’ve got depth and we’re going to start the series like this,” he continued. “I’m not saying that he’s not going to play. Nobody said that. And that’s the way we feel for Game 1 because those guys did a great job, and we’ll go from there.”