Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Talbot Dishes About Winning The Cup

It's time once again for another installment of

Thanks to the translations graciously provided tonight by Friend of The Show Coralie R., those of us who don't speak fluent French can now get the scoop from straight from the Superstar. In the latest entry to his RDS blog, Max candidly discusses the big win, that handshake incident, shoulder surgery (!), and his plans for this summer. If you weren't a fan of Superstar's before reading this (← is that possible???), you definitely will be after. Enjoy!

Needless to say, we are on cloud nine since Friday night.

It’s like the NHL Network commercial that says: The Cup changes everything. I now realize how much truth there is in this slogan: it is really special to win the Stanley Cup.

It’s hard to believe that I am a champion. People ask us how it feels to raise the Cup on the ice. As for me, I was so pumped up by adrenalin that I barely remember how it was, it all went down so quickly. It’s afterward that we realize how huge this victory is. In the flight that brought us back to Pittsburgh, I had the Cup next to me for fifteen minutes. Such a special feeling.

It’s my first championship and the best one! I often had a shot at winning a cup in other leagues, but had never actually won. I admit, I did think about that during the final series and I didn’t want to miss it this time. I now have my Cup and I am a winner.

It’s also hard to believe that it was I who scored the two goals in our 2-1 victory in the 7th game. It’s now a part of history and these goals will be remembered. No one can take these goals away from me. The 7th game was the best of my life.

We always believed in ourselves, even when we were trailing 0-2 in the series against Washington and Detroit. There was this weird feeling in the locker room. We had just lost, but we knew that we had played well and that we could come back (in the series). We just had to keep on working and play our game well. Our head coach Dan Bylsma is an eternal optimist. In victory and in defeat, he always believes and he is always smiling. With us being 2 games down, Dan didn’t need to say much. We are a special group, and we always knew we could come back.

We won the last two games without Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin scoring. When the NHL’s two best players do not score, others must raise. You know, Sid did not have an easy time against Henrik Zetterberg, who did a great job covering him. He may not have scored much, but Sid did great in defense against Zetterberg.

The Last Moments

Not much was said between the second and third periods. We knew Sid was injured and it was capital for us to keep playing well like we had done in the first two periods. We knew we could win if we kept on playing our type of game.

In the last moments of the game, the Red Wings kept pressuring us. My good friend and goalie Marc-André Fleury made a spectacular save in the last few seconds. I was a little scared, of course, but it was part of our destiny. We believed in our luck and that we deserved this Cup.

Marc-André is a very good friend of mine and I wouldn’t want to go to war with any other goalie. When the Red Wings scored their only goal of the night, I went to see him and I told him: "Marc-André, it’s 2-1 and I have the winning goal. Keep on blocking the shots and we’ll win the Cup. Do it for me!"

The rest is history.

The Leaders

The series enabled me to get to know the leaders of our team. Bill Guerin has been a fantastic acquisition for us. He is a real leader as well as a warrior. My friend Bruno Gervais, who had played with him for the Islanders, had talked to me about him. I’m so happy for Bill.

Philippe Boucher did not take part in every single game, but he still had a positive attitude. It’s yet another way of being a leader. He was courageous and was always there for us. Phil was cheering us on instead of complaining. The same applies for Pascal Dupuis, who played so well when he was in the line-up.

A guy like Marc-André Fleury is a leader as well, because of the way he played.

The Handshake

Kris Draper has accused Sidney of missing the traditional handshake with some players. When I heard this story, I just laughed; it’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. Sid is the guy who has the most respect for the game and the people.

Moreover, when the Stanley Cup finals are coming to an end, there are so many people on the ice and all the medias want a piece of you. If he missed a couple of handshakes, I’m sure it was not his fault and that he didn’t mean it.

Hmmm... Perhaps THIS is why Siddo missed the first part of the handshake? :P

Big Emotions for My Family

I’m so happy that my family got to experience those precious moments. It was so special for my family members, who were invited at Mario Lemieux’s house on Sunday night. I had been at Mario’s before, but it was a first for them. It was an unique moment and my family is so happy to be a part of it. My brothers even drove from Detroit to Pittsburgh to be sure not to miss anything.

Sunday afternoon, we all went to the PNC Park, where the Pirates were playing, to celebrate our victory. Bill Guerin threw the first pitch and we got to visit the Pirates’ locker room.

The family also celebrated on the ice and in our locker room in the Joe Louis Arena after the match. When we got back to Pittsburgh early Saturday morning, we immediately went to Mario’s to resume celebrating. I’ll never forget those moments. [snoop: In case you haven't already seen them, I have some photos from that party at Mario's that I'll post in the next day or so. I changed my mind about this. After I published this post, I realized that these pictures were likely stolen from someone, so I'm not going to post them. I explained why in The Friends' Zone below...]

A Busy Summer

My holidays will be spent for the most part in the province of Quebec, but they will sure be busy. When you are a Stanley Cup champion, there are quite a few things that you must add to your agenda. First of all, I’ll need to have a shoulder surgery in two weeks’ time. I have a golf tournament on the third of July and I’ll also get to spend a day with the Cup.

I have a fishing weekend planned with my family that I am looking forward to. And I’m going to Las Vegas, along with Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, to represent the Penguins at the NHL awards.

A Big Thank You

Before I wrap this up, I would like to thank the hockey fans in Quebec who supported us in this final series. There are six Quebecers in the team and I can tell you, we really felt your support. We also won that Cup for all of you.

See you in the fall.

Yes, Max, you will see us in the fall... And we can't WAIT!! :)

Go raibh míle maith agat, Coralie!! [May you have a thousand good things, Coralie!!] Thank you SO SO SO MUCH for providing the translation for us.

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