NASHVILLE — There isn’t much that Sidney Crosby hasn’t accomplished in hockey.
On Sunday night, not only did his Pittsburgh Penguins win back-to-back Stanley Cup titles, Crosby was also named Conn Smythe winner as playoff MVP for the second consecutive year as voted on by a panel of the Professional Hockey Writers Association.
He is the third person to achieve the feat and first since Mario Lemieux, the former Penguins great and now team owner, in 1991-92. Goalie Bernie Parent (1974-75) is the only other player to win back-to-back playoff MVPs.
Crosby said he really hasn’t considered what consecutive titles and consecutive Conn Smythe trophies means to his legacy.
“It’s hard to throw it all together,” he said, noting that his joy comes with sharing a championship with teammates.
Crosby had eight goals and 27 points in 24 games of this playoff run, and it’s Game 5 that may have swung the vote in his favor. Crosby, who was second in playoff scoring, was integral in the Penguins’ 6-0 win in Pittsburgh, beginning with his first-period burst that drew a power play and led to an early first-period goal. Crosby had three assists in that 6-0 win. In the Game 6 clincher, Crosby had four shots on goal in 17:17. He finished with a Cup Final-high seven points.
“He’s the guy who can capture the hearts of so many people just by the way he plays, with the passion and tempo of his game,” said teammate Chris Kunitz.
The Penguins captain has earned three Stanley Cups, two Olympic gold medals, a World Cup title, a world championship and world junior title.
Crosby has also won two Art Ross trophies as the NHL’s leading point scorer, two Hart Memorial trophies for regular-season MVP and has been the league’s leading goal scorer two times, including in this season. He finished the regular season with 44 goals and 89 points, good for second in the NHL. Crosby is a 2016-17 finalist for the Hart Trophy.