Pittsburgh Penguins Trivia

By Paula Green

“Hockey is a tough, physical game, and it always should be.” – Mario Lemieux

        This year the Pittsburgh Penguins proudly celebrate their 50th anniversary.  They were founded in 1967 when the NHL selected Pittsburgh as one of six cities for its hockey expansion.  The franchise held a “name the team contest,” in the newspaper, but the team’s name came from part-owner Jack McGregor’s wife Carol.    

         The Penguins made their debut on Oct. 11, 1967 with a 2-1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens.  Throughout the 1970s, the Penguins made great strides but fell short of winning the Cup.  In 1983 and 1984, the team finished with the worst record in the league, and they ended up with the No. 1 draft pick.  They selected a player named Mario Lemieux (#66).  Lemieux not only went on to become one of the best players in team history, he eventually became co-owner of the Pens as well.

         From 1967 thru 1980 the team’s uniform colors were blue and white.  On Jan. 30, 1980, the Penguins wore black and gold for the first time. With the Steelers winning the Super Bowl and the Pirates capturing the World Series title in the same year, the struggling Penguins hoped to gain fan support by aligning their colors with the other teams in the “City of Champions.”

          Throughout the years, the Pens signed very successful, talented players – Jaromir Jagr, Ron Francis, Kevin Stevens, Rick Kehoe, Jean Pronovost, Paul Coffey, Rick Tocchet, Mark Recchi, Tom Barrasso, Marc Andre-Fleury, Evgeni Malkin and many, many others.

          In 2005, the Penguins scored big once again with the No. 1 draft pick, this time they acquired Sidney Crosby (#87).  In 2007, Crosby became the youngest captain of a National Hockey League team.  In 2009, he became the youngest team captain to win the Stanley Cup.   Regarding the Stanley Cup, the Penguins have brought Lord Stanley home to the ‘Burgh four times – 1991, 1992, 2009 and 2016.  

         Another highlight of Pen’s games was play-by-play announcer Mike Lange and his creative commentaries.  There’s also “Iceburgh,” who’s one of the NHL’s most beloved mascots.

         In the coaching realm – the Penguins were honored with such greats as – Scotty Bowman, Herb Brooks, Eddie Johnston, Bob Johnson, Dan Bylsma, and Mike Sullivan.

         Since we’ve iced the surface on Pittsburgh hockey, let’s shoot through this Penguin’s query.  Get set to slap in the answers, because it’s time to get a little trivial…….

  1. Name the Pen’s original mascot who was a live penguin. His first appearance was Feb. 21, 1968 at the Civic Arena.
  2. Two jerseys have been retired by the Pens, #66 Mario Lemieux’s and which other?
  3. Who was the Pens general manager when they won back-to-back Stanley Cups in 1991-1992?
  4. After the Penguins won “The Cup” in 1991, they were the first NHL team to ever do this?
  5. Which NHL team strongly objected to the Penguins changing their uniforms to black & gold?
  6. What feat did Mario Lemieux accomplish on December 31, 1988 against the New Jersey Devils?
  7. On Apr. 24, 1996, in Game 4 of the playoffs, the Pens defeated the Washington Capitals in quadruple overtime, who scored the winning goal?
  8. When the Pens triumphed with The Stanley Cup in 2009 who won the Conn Smythe Trophy?
  9. What is the significance of Sidney Crosby wearing the number 87?
  10. What year was the NHL All-Star Game played in Pittsburgh at the Civic Arena?
  11. In 2008, the Penguins played in the first “Winter Classic” who was their opponent?
  12. Who scored both of the Pen’s goals in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final against Detroit in 2009?
  13. Name the Penguin’s coach who famously coined the phrase, “It’s a Great Day for Hockey!”
  14. This gentleman was the Pen’s organist who performed during home games from 1970-2003.
  15. The Pen’s third line of Carl Hagelin, Nick Bonino and Phil Kessel are called?

Answers:  1. Pete  2. #21 (Michel Briere)  3. Craig Patrick  4. visit the White House  5.  The Boston Bruins  6.  he scored five goals, five different ways  7. Petr Nedved  8. Evgeni Malkin  9.  It’s his birthdate (8-7-87)  10. 1990  11. Buffalo Sabres  12. Max Talbot  13. Bob Johnson  14. Vince Lascheid  15. The HBK Line

http://mentalfloss.com/article/22915/whats-nickname-origins-all-30-nhl-team-names, http:www/sportsecyclopedia.com/nhl/Pittsburgh/pneguins.html, https://www.nhl.com/penguins, http://thehockeywriters.com/10-greatest-pittsburgh-penguins-in-franchise-history/, http://pittsburghhockey.net/old-site/PensPages/Mascots/mascots.html, http://www.ushockeyhalloffame.com, https://www.nhl.com/news/stanley-cups-most-memorable