SAN JOSE, Calif. — During the Stanley Cup playoffs, the Pittsburgh Penguins’ captain, Sidney Crosby, did not have as many goals or points as his teammate Phil Kessel. He had one fewer assist than another Pittsburgh center, Nick Bonino. He did not come out of nowhere to save the day like the rookie goaltender Matthew Murray.
But when the Penguins defeated the San Jose Sharks, 3-1, to capture the Stanley Cup on Sunday night, it was Crosby who was named the winner of the Conn Smythe Trophy, which is given to the postseason’s most valuable player.
Nobody had to explain to those who played with Crosby why he was a deserving winner.
“He’s a special player for a reason. He can adapt and change his game to different things,” said Pittsburgh forward Chris Kunitz, a sometimes linemate of Crosby’s over the past eight seasons. “Early in his career, he went out and got…