When last we left off, April had come and the Penguins had made their way through the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, toppling the New York Rangers. Boy was there so much more to come.
After Brooks Orpik took a run at Olli Maatta in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Semi Finals, Barry Trotz seemed out of touch and out of tune with what a good coach should say. Brian took him to task with "Clueless Coach Deserves His Cheapshotting Team"
After Trotz tried to manipulate the media to make it seem that the NHL is favoring the Penguins, Brian implored the league to ignore Trotz's words and see the actions. "NHL Must Stand Strong Against Capital Manipulations"
It's all too familiar for Capitals fans: a GREAT regular season and another post season choke. That it came at the hands of the Penguins made it all the more sweeter. Brian capped off everyone's feelings quite nicely with "On the Brink of Failure"
First it was Crosby-Malkin-Staal, the original three headed monster. With the 2016 post season a new one emerged: Crosby-Malkin-Kessel. "New Three-Headed Monster"
After Ryan Callahan boarded Kris Letang to start the Eastern Conference Finals, everyone knew exactly what it was: garbage. And even we were mad about it. "Premeditated Bullshit"
After the Lightning tried to ban anyone from wearing Penguins related gear for the ECF, Will called it what it was: a weak attempt to gain some sort of advantage over the well traveling Pittsburgh fans. "Lightning Trying to Keep What's Left of their Home Ice Advantage"
The Penguins weren't the only ones who made a run to the Finals in 2016. The Wheeling Nailers made it to the Kelly Cup Finals in the ECHL and Medina made her way to Wheeling to remind you all to "Support the Little Guys"
Did a puck go through Matt Murray's glove? It's a mystery that quickly enveloped the internet, and Brian took a JFK-like approach to the incident. "Matt Murray's Glove Change"
We all fell in love with PHIL! as the playoffs wore on, seeing him contribute and lead the charge on the HBK line. It's what led Brian to state the obvious: "Phil Kessel: Miscast as a Castoff"
Remember how no one likes Mike Milbury? Well it needed to be said again. And will continue to be needed to be said, this time by Medina. "NHL's Broadcasting Blackeye"
As the Penguins clinched a return to the Stanley Cup Final, Nick asked you all to take a moment to remember how sad and seemingly defeated the fanbase, and team, were just one year ago. "Remember Last Year?"
With the Cup one win away for the Steelers, Nick broke the ice for everyone and freaked out. "Oh My God, It's Happening!"
Justin Schultz was a low risk, high reward trade made by Jim Rutherford at the deadline to help a Penguins blue line become more mobile. He went on to excel under Mike Sullivan. Stacey told us all about his jump from afterthought to important cog. "Schultz Shines as a Penguin"
With the passing of Gordie Howe, hockey lost an important ambassador. Mike gave his heartfelt eulogy. "RIP, Mr Hockey"
Easily our most popular game recap of the year: Stanley Cup Final Game 6. I wonder what happened there... "SCF Game 6 Recap: Stanley Cup Champions!"
The most popular episode of Radio:PI also happened to be from Game 6. What are the odds? "Radio:PI 2015-2016 Wrap Show- Penguins Win the Stanley Cup!"
With the Penguins winning that long expected second Cup, Brian wrote about the Pens getting the monkey off of their back. "Cashing In on Long Expected Cup Glory"
As he lifted the Cup and celebrated, Steve Olesky took his first ever drink of alcohol. Will wrote about his life long abstinence and his savored first sip. "Steven Olesky Parties Hard, but Responsibly"
After the championship comes the party and Stacey was there for the parade in downtown Pittsburgh. "A Small Market With a Big Heart"
Also after the championship: the rumors. Malkin to where? Fleury for what? It was just the beginning to Nick. "The Summer of Stupid"
Most understandably, given the midseason turn around by the Penguins, Jim Rutherford won General Manager of the Year at the annual NHL Awards ceremony. "Jim Rutherford Wins GM of the Year"
As we said in Part 1, we're not immune to bad takes. Jim Rutherford was ridiculed by many here at Pen Initiative, and far beyond us as well. Brian wrote this mea culpa: "Getting the Last Laugh"
All things were great for the Penguins after their Cup win but the world moves on and so does the salary cap. The biggest issue? What to do with Marc-Andre Fleury. Matt took a look at the cap with the all of the possible options. "The Penguins Goaltending Situation: Cap Space Edition"
Medina was present at CONSOL for the Pens championship DVD premier and gave us a comprehensive review of the day. "Penguins Hold Championship DVD Premier"
Sudden Death is a timeline hockey classic... sort of. Either way Nick wanted everyone to know that HBO had your slice of Penguins hockey available to you on demand when ever you wanted it. "Sudden Death is on HBO Go/HBO NOW"
Team Dad Matt Cullen was a question mark to return to the Penguins following the 2015-16 season. An unexpected break out season and a questionable salary cap made people wonder if he'd be back. When he re-signed, people were excited. "Penguins Re-Sign Matt Cullen"
An important part of the Penguins family passed away in August. Nick knew him well and wanted you to know about the man who was in charge of all things Penguins radio: Ray Walker. "You Didn't Know Ray Walker, but You Should Have"
PHIL! had surgery in the off season to repair some damage to his hand. The news came out that his recovery may make him miss the start of the season. People didn't take it well. "Prolonged Recovery from Surgery May Delay Kessel's Season"
The start of the 2016-17 season was to be special. The Penguins were to raise the banner against the Capitals, one last twist of the knife for their bitter rivals. It did not go over well when NBC Sports changed the start time to fit their broadcast schedule. "NBC Moves Time of Season Opener"
The Flyers and Penguins are among several teams celebrating 50 years in the NHL in the new season. The Flyers added a special jersey to the mix... and boy were they ugly, and yet familiar. "Flyers Ruin Your Lunch, Unveil New Jersey"