So there was no way a suspected broken foot was going to stop Pittsburgh's Sykora from getting out on the Joe Louis Arena ice Friday night to party with the world's most famous trophy in the aftermath of the Penguins' 2-1 victory in Game 7 of the Stanly Cup Final against Detroit.
Sykora injured the foot blocking a shot in Game 6, his first game of the Final. Sykora had been a healthy scratch since Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals before Pittsburgh coach Dan Bylsma gave him a chance in Game 6
The injured right foot -- the same one that was in a walking boot after Friday's morning skate -- was somehow jammed into a skate as Sykora got himself onto the ice while Sidney Crosby
, the Penguins captain, accepted the Stanley Cup from NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman.
"I find a way to put the skate on and I'm so happy I could be able to skate around with the Cup," Sykora told NHL.com as he lounged in his stall with the foot tightly bandaged. "Nothing can compare to right after the game to be on the ice and lift the Cup."
Despite winning his first Cup with the Devils back in 2000, Sykora never had the chance to do a victory lap with it. When New Jersey's Jason Arnott scored the double-overtime winner in Game 6 to clinch against Dallas at Reunion Arena, Sykora was in a local hospital being checked for head injuries after absorbing a vicious check delivered by defenseman Derian Hatcher.
The Devils brought the Cup to Sykora in the hospital. While a nice gesture, Sykora says it is not the same as being on the ice with the team in the immediate aftermath of the triumph.
"What a great feeling, I can't describe how good that feels," Sykora told NHL.com.
Surprisingly, Sykora did not have to wait long for his turn with the Cup this time around. Despite not playing in Game 7, Sykora was the fifth Penguin to receive a turn with the Stanley Cup, taking it from Miroslav Satan
How did Sykora get the Cup so early, before Conn Smythe winner Evgeni Malkin
or Game 7 hero Marc-Andre Fleury
"It goes by age, buddy, so that's not a good sign," Sykora said with a laugh.
Author: Shawn P. Roarke | NHL.com Managing Editor