I predicted the Stanley Cup Final would be decided in six games, with the Pittsburgh Penguins getting the best of the San Jose Sharks. And they're off to a 2-0 start that makes me so giddy I can't sleep, because I know that teams that get a 2-0 lead in the Final have a 33-3 record - for a .917 winning percentage.
Which brings me to this card of Joe Mullen, third in a series of five of a recent trade, from his days in Steeltown:
1991-92 Canadian English set, showing him wearing the Pens' black (then-away) uniform. Half-unrelated: when I was a kid, I had a signed card of his with the Calgary Flames; I no longer do. I'd be willing to trade for one or two.
He was the first American-born player to score 500 career goals - the milestone goal scored on none other than Patrick Roy - and 1000 goals, retiring as the all-time highest-scoring American player; his 1063 career points now rank him sixth, behind the likes of Brett Hull (1391), Mike Modano (1374), Phil Housley (1232), Jeremy Roenick (1216) and Keith Tkachuk (1065).
His brother Brian Mullen also played in the NHL, posting 622 points in 832 games, but he didn't have Joe's resume or pedigree. Joe has also won the Stanley Cup three times: in 1989 (with the Flames) as well as 1991 and 1992 with the Pens. He also played for Team USA on five occasions, registering 12 points in 15 games, including a Canada Cup semi-final (1984) and final (1991).
After six seasons of coaching in the Penguins organization, he switched to cross-state rivals Philadelphia Flyers in 2006-07 and has been there for the past nine years. He is a two-time Lady Byng Trophy winner (1986-87 and 1988-89) and was inducted in the Hockey Hall Of Fame in 2000.