Penguins and the 2009 Stanley Cup ... A look back at a champion year

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The Penguins had a Kennywood experience during the 2008-09 season. More like the ups and downs one would get on one of the famed park's roller-coasters.

It started fast. Slowed to a crawl. Had a big, roaring change, then swept to a magnificent ending.

When the Penguins skated off the ice at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit after a 2-1 Game 7 victory over the mighty Red Wings, they took with them the third Stanley Cup in franchise history. They also skated into the sports lore of our City of Champions, as well as into the hearts of everyone in Western Pennsylvania.

In today's Penguins special commemorative section, our staff writers will take you through the highs and lows of the season, and our photographers will capture images that reflect on the championship season.

Sports page designer Steve Ziants was the section's editor, with a major assist from his colleagues on the editing desk.

We hope you enjoy the section. And that you always remember this season as one that truly showed the spirit, resolve and grit of the 2008-09 Penguins. Indeed, this is a Portrait of a Champion.

SEASON IN REVIEW Who really believed on Feb. 14 that the Penguins' season wasn't over? Forget about winning the Stanley Cup. Who could have imagined them just making the playoffs. And then a season changed.

Penguins' run to the Cup started with coaching change, key acquisitions and a leader's return

PG's Ron Cook: Reliving an unforgettable and incredible Cup trek

PG SLIDESHOW: The Pittsburgh Penguins 2008-09 Stanley Cup season in photos

WHAT DOES IT MEAN? It is held in reverence. It is sought after in terms of Holy Grail and life-long dream. But what does winning the Stanley Cup mean to the players and coaches. The answers are not big and grand, but personal and unique.

In the hockey world, it's all about the Cup

DAN WHO? In 49 games, Dan Bylsma managed to do what so many other coaches have been unable to achieve in years of trying. His was, indeed, a meteoric rise.

Dan Bylsma's meteoric rise defied all belief

GENE COLLIER On a Game 7 day when the extraordinary was in order, two coaches in Detroit went in search of 'ordinary.' Go figure.

Nothing ordinary about Penguins' march to the Cup; instead, extraordinary ruled at every turn

Special attractions ... How the Penguins were built. ... Who gets their name on the Cup. ... A game-by-game recap of the run to the Cup.

The Penguins Championship Team ... Names for all time

Youth is served in the NHL as the torch is passed

• PG pdf: Building a Winner Penguins Post-season Roster

Penguins' Stanley Cup run's five key moments

• A Timeline: Penguins on the road to the Stanley cup ... From nowhere

• Game-By-Game: The Penguins' road to the Stanley Cup final

About the group shot up top In the celebration and chaos on the ice at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit after the Penguins won the Stanley Cup June 12, Post-Gazette photographer Peter Diana snapped the victorious team picture with the Cup. It is quite possibly the last time everyone will be together in uniform again as members of the Penguins. We hope you enjoy the photo today and for years to come.

PG pdf: Pittsburgh Penguins group shot

PG Graphic: Who's Who in the Pittsburgh Penguins group shot

First Published June 21, 2009 4:00 AM


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