Pens' Cole played through broken hand, ribs
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

You have to pay the price to win the Stanley Cup. Ask the Pittsburgh Penguins.

In the aftermath of the black and gold being crowned champs in back-to-back seasons, we're learning how beat up the squad that dispatched the Nashville Predators in six games truly was.

Defenseman Ian Cole, a key member of the unheralded Pittsburgh defense, played most of the postseason hurt.

Hockey players, right?

Cole played 17:43 in Sunday's deciding game, including 3:50 shorthanded. Dude's a gamer, clearly. He finished the playoffs with nine assists in 25 games, averaging 18:50 in ice time.

The Penguins played a lot of hockey this spring, needing seven games in rounds two and three to advance to the Cup Final.

That awesome NHL commercial is right, in other words: Every letter is earned on the Stanley Cup. Including "C-o-l-e."

Pens' Cole played through broken hand, ribs
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