As if Pittsburgh Penguin fans needed more reasons to miss defenseman Rob Scuderi, last night was just another reminder.
With the Stanley Cup in the building and momentum in New Jersey’s favor, the Los Angeles Kings knew a win last night against the New Jersey Devils was a must and that everyone had to contribute.
Scuderi, not known for his smooth skating or offensive instincts, generally contributes in subtle ways, cleaning the house and blocking shots. He’s not the most graceful, nor the most recognizable.
But he’s a warrior and a winner.
And his bloodied face while hoisting the Cup is proof.
Just 10 minutes into the first period of Game Six in Los Angeles, Scuderi skated to retrieve a puck behind his own net before being boarded by Devils forward Steve Bernier.
Scuderi remained on the ice for several moments before being escorted to the locker room to be attended to by doctors.
“I had to go through some doctor stuff, things along those lines, so I didn’t get back until the start of the second period,” Scuderi said, according to the Canadian Press via The Hockey News. “It’s standard procedure when anyone takes a pretty good shot, but I thought the trainers and doctors did a good job. They asked me a million questions in a short amount of time.”
Meanwhile, his teammates were busy scoring three goals on the five-minute major penalty issued to Bernier.
“You’d rather that not be the way you contribute to the game, but what’s the difference?” Scuderi asked.
Typical response from a winner. It’s not how you contribute, it’s that you contribute.
And Scuderi did just that, cementing his status not only as a two-time Stanley Cup winner, but as a player who is willing to do whatever it takes to win.
He’s a player who is sorely missed in Pittsburgh and one that surely is coveted in Los Angeles.
And this morning he’s basking in the glory of hockey’s most prized trophy.
Congratulations to a class act.