Magnificent victory for Lemieux

BRUCE GARRIOCH, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 11:42 AM ET

DETROIT -- Mario Lemieux stood a few feet away last night as Sid the Kid smiled for the cameras and took one last twirl with the Stanley Cup before leaving the ice at Joe Louis Arena.

In a lot of ways, Lemieux looked like a proud father.

The owner of the Penguins was the club's top player the last time the franchise won the NHL title in 1992 and while he didn't enjoy last night's 2-1 victory as much from the press box, Lemieux was thrilled to see players like Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Marc-Andre Fleury crowned champions.

"It's been great," said Lemieux.

"It's satisfying to help a great hockey club with the ultimate goal of winning a Stanley Cup. It's been a great ride for this team. These guys have worked so hard to make this happen. They've been through a lot and they beat a tough team."

Lemieux said it was a courageous win by the underdog Penguins.

"To win the Stanley Cup is a great feeling. It's the ultimate goal. You try to win the Cup for two months. There's ups and downs throughout the playoffs and to finally be able to lift that Cup is tremendous for everybody involved with the organization," said the two-time Conn Smythe winner.

The focus was on Pittsburgh's young players, but veterans like Bill Guerin, who hadn't won a Cup since 1995 with New Jersey, and defenceman Sergei Gonchar, who had lost in two previous trips to the final, played big roles.

"It's huge for me. I've never had an experience like this. I've been dreaming about it since I started playing and finally the dream came true," said Gonchar.

"If you told us three months ago, when we weren't even going to make the playoffs, that we'd be here today, it would have been hard to believe."

BRUCE.GARRIOCH@SUNMEDIA.CA


Videos

Photos