Lindsay Ward at a Pittsburgh Penguins game.
I'm so proud of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Although they did not win the Cup this year, they still achieved so much. They went from struggling in 2005-06 to being this year's Eastern Conference Champion.
Every member of this team should hold his head up high and be proud of himself. I would like to give praise to a few individuals on the team.
Max Talbot: You are the motivator of the Pens. You always bring energy to the ice, and in my opinion, you deserve to wear the ‘A' next season.
Sergei Gonchar: I bet the Professional Sports Writers feel foolish for not nominating you for the Norris Trophy. You deserve that trophy.
Petr Sykora: You proved to the world you wouldn't let an injury stop you from scoring the game-winning goal.
Evgeni Malkin: You were criticized by many during the final, including myself. I'm glad you finally lit the lamp in Game 6. Thanks for leading the team while Sidney was injured. We wouldn't have made it this far if you hadn't stepped up.
Marian Hossa: I wasn't thrilled when the team first acquired you because I am a fan of Colby Armstrong, but you were a huge factor in the playoffs. I'm glad you came to Pittsburgh!
Marc-Andre Fleury: Your Game 5 performance is one I will never forget. You were incredible during the playoffs! Flower, you bloomed this season into one of the best goaltenders in the NHL.
Captain Sidney Crosby: Well, your playoff beard isn't as thick as Max's, but you were one of the best players in the playoffs. You led the team so well; you are a great captain. I can't wait until I get to watch you lift the Stanley Cup. Maybe it's better to win the Stanley Cup when you can legally drink champagne from it anyway.
The Pittsburgh Penguins played phenomenally this season. They accomplished many things. I'm not disappointed in them at all. The only sadness I feel is because I hate having to wait four months before I can watch them again.
I am proud to wear black and gold. Let's Go Pens!
Lindsay Ward, Wintersville, Ohio