Courtesy of PNC

Cartoon Canon: Mario’s first comeback!

RICHMOND, Va. -- Perhaps due to the disappointing way it ended, with a sludgy, seven-game loss to the Panthers in the Eastern Conference finals, it’s easy to forget that Mario Lemieux’s 1995-96 season may also have been his best.

The stat line is amazing: He won his fifth Art Ross Trophy, with 69 goals and 92 assists, with another 27 points in the playoffs. He led the league with 31 power-play goals. And he won a third Hart Trophy … all while playing only 70 games.

That oh-so-close 1996 Stanley Cup Final between the Avalanche of Joe Sakic and Peter Forsberg and those Penguins of Lemieux, Jaromir Jagr and Ron Francis is easily among the greatest sporting events that never was. You’ll never convince me otherwise!

[caption id="attachment_702462" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] ROB ULLMAN / DKPS[/caption]

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