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‘Biased’ Caps coach: Ovechkin should win MVP, not Crosby

Apr 17, 2013, 9:25 AM EDT

Alex Ovechkin Getty Images

With a torrid scoring run, a skyrocketing Washington Capitals team and the NHL goal scoring lead in tow, Alex Ovechkin is making a serious Hart Trophy argument.

Caps head coach Adam Oates told the Washington Times that Ovechkin would get his vote – if he had one.

“I’m obviously very biased about that, so my answer would be yeah, absolutely,” Oates said. “Obviously Sidney Crosby is another candidate, for sure. He had such a scoring lead, but I think you’ve got to factor in the fact he’s missed a lot of games.”

“That’s not for me to say though, it’s you guys.”

(Naturally, fans of teams other than the Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins will probably take this time to mention other noteworthy candidates.)

If the league handed out some kind of trophy that covered merely the months of March and April combined, it would be tough to argue against the Capitals’ 27-year-old captain. In that time, Ovechkin has managed 33 points in 24 games.

Naturally, the Hart Trophy voting covers the entire 48-game season, so there will be plenty of interesting arguments involving Crosby, Ovechkin and a slew of other stars. Depending on the team, there are also four-to-seven more games to change some votes.

  1. cspsrbums - Apr 17, 2013 at 9:36 AM

    I am sure Mibury will vote for him

  2. sjsharks66 - Apr 17, 2013 at 9:46 AM

    Factor in crosby missed a lot of games? Ovi missed a lot of games too. He was not injured, he was just invisible.

    Look, good for Ovi. I always knew he still had it in him. It is frustrating though seeing how fast everyone has forgotten about all the articles and talk bashing him. Saying he is not the same player, his talent is gone; etc. Now he is all over the place, mvp talks and a trophy winning nominee.

    • ziplock10 - Apr 17, 2013 at 9:59 AM

      Ovi is a national hero(Russian). He was getting paid. Its playoff time now and he is leading the league in goals now I think???

      If he’s kissing the cup or the Caps are a factor, even I will say bravo.

      And I’m a Caps fan. But this is a hell of a run!

      • proudlyfrenchcanadian - Apr 17, 2013 at 1:30 PM


    • jpelle82 - Apr 17, 2013 at 3:21 PM

      ovechkin should win the comeback player of the year…no one knew where he was for a while, then he came back.

  3. drwang13 - Apr 17, 2013 at 9:47 AM

    I’m no caps fan but I agree. Take Ovi off the Caps and they’re done. As you see for the second year in a row, you take Cindy, sorry, Sindey off the Pens and they are still successful.

    Ovi will not win the MVP because he’s Russian.

    • ibieiniid - Apr 17, 2013 at 9:53 AM

      that’s probably the most valid point to be made. the trophy goes to the guy most valuable to HIS TEAM… not the guy that would be most valuable on an all-star team.

    • ziplock10 - Apr 17, 2013 at 10:07 AM

      Well, the Caps do have 3 of the top 15 points producers……

      Guess they would not be there at all if not for OVI.

      Oh yeah! The top PP! Yep! We suck!

      • ibieiniid - Apr 17, 2013 at 10:13 AM

        idk if you were watching…. but until OV turned it on, Caps weren’t in playoff position.

      • chanceoffleury1 - Apr 17, 2013 at 10:53 AM

        Yeah, and until Ovi was put on a line with Backstrom he didn’t produce for sh!t. Tavares and Crosby are playing with natural 3rd liners and turning them into heros. Why do people act like Backstrom is some garbage player? Ovi or no Ovi, he is a top 2 center on just about every single team in the league except for Pittsburgh. In the first 23 games of the season on a bottom cellar team he had 21 points. He is anything but garbage and he is constantly being sold short on his talent level.

      • jpelle82 - Apr 17, 2013 at 11:07 AM

        he’s put up 100 pts in this league and was a 1st rd pick. ovechkin and dc couldnt ask for a better center out of that draft era short of crosby himself.

      • flavadave10 - Apr 18, 2013 at 11:51 AM

        Did I hear anyone use that logic against Ovechkin when he won his two Hart Trophies? Nope.

    • lonespeed - Apr 17, 2013 at 10:23 AM

      I’m no Caps fan either, and I also agree.

    • footballfan - Apr 17, 2013 at 10:31 AM

      I can’t see how Russian has anything to do with it. If that were the case how did Ovi win the MVP before??? Just because Crosby is surrounded with guys that are willing to step up when he is out of the game doesn’t mean he shouldn’t get the MVP.

      • ibieiniid - Apr 17, 2013 at 10:36 AM

        by the definition of who gets the Hart Memorial trophy, yes it does mean that.

      • rippit2000 - Apr 17, 2013 at 1:15 PM

        To ibieiniid – in that case I guess Nicklas Lidstrom should get it this year since the Red Wings are barely a playoff team without him.

    • 2jivecrew - Apr 17, 2013 at 10:52 AM

      Please. The Caps made the playoff last year with a no-show Ovie.

      • movinonyoleft - Apr 17, 2013 at 12:15 PM

        38 goals is no-show?

      • rippit2000 - Apr 17, 2013 at 3:27 PM

        For Ovi 38 goals IS a no-show. Just like 75 points over a full season would be a career year for a lot of players, but if Crosby scored 75 points everyone would wonder (with good reason) what was wrong.

    • Kristenaux - Apr 17, 2013 at 11:24 AM

      It’s quite simple really. Define what MVP is…most valuable player to his team. Two years Crosby was out with injuries and Malkin took the team into the playoffs…without him. The Pens have depth without Sid in the line up. The Caps flounder without Ovie. I say it’s a no brainer who is the MVP. But the NHL has Xenophobia. You think they could bring themselves to vote for a non-Canadian boy? Yeah right!

      • rippit2000 - Apr 17, 2013 at 4:11 PM

        I agree 100% – like Malkin last year, Henrik Sedin in 2009-10, Ovechkin in 2008-09 AND 2007-08, Peter Forsberg in 2002-03, Jagr in 1998-99, Hasek in 1996-97 and 1997-98 and Fedorov in 1993-94. They’ll NEVER vote for a non-North American player.

    • bgrillz - Apr 17, 2013 at 11:29 AM

      Valid point…no Russian can win the MVP….wait, isn’t Malkin Russian?

    • hockeywithdrawal - Apr 17, 2013 at 11:56 AM

      What are you basing your “take ovi off the Caps and they’re done” statement on? History of W/L with Ovi out of the picture? What are the numbers?

      • hockeywithdrawal - Apr 17, 2013 at 3:33 PM

        haha I think getting thumbs down on that one is more priceless than an actual response…

    • blackfoot11 - Apr 17, 2013 at 12:17 PM

      @drwang13..”Ovie with not win the MVP because he’s Russian”? You do realize that Ovie won back-to-back Hart Trophys in 07-08 & 08-09 seasons. And Malkin won last year. Know your history.

  4. polegojim - Apr 17, 2013 at 9:48 AM

    Not a freaking chance… and I’m not a Crosby fan… but….

    Crosby plays the ENTIRE season, lights out, full bore. Ovi takes games off whenever convenient.

    • drwang13 - Apr 17, 2013 at 9:50 AM

      Crosby hasn’t played an entire season in years… Just sayin.

      • sportsfreak13 - Apr 17, 2013 at 10:00 AM

        The argument can be made that neither has ovechkin. The only thing is NHL record of games played wouldn’t reflect that, but my eyes do. Invisible 20 games then BOOM he reappears.

      • stakex - Apr 17, 2013 at 11:40 AM


        That might be true, but lets not forget everything that was lined up against Ovechkin for those first 10 games. New coach, new system, new linemates, and a new position. Thats a lot to overcome. In fact, its pretty amazing that in less them 30 games he adapted to all that (and was moved back with Backstrom) and has been by far the best player in the league.

      • sportsfreak13 - Apr 17, 2013 at 11:53 AM

        I get that, but consistency is still a problem for him. Early in Crosby career his coach had him play wing instead of center. He still put up incredible numbers. Crosby went through 3 coaches and countless line mates and his production never dropped to the level of ovechkins The system even changed drastically for Crosby between all 3 of those coaches. I’m not discrediting what ovechkin has done this year but the great ones adapt no matter what. In my eyes he’s really good, not great because of his lack of consistency.

      • oconn331 - Apr 18, 2013 at 12:22 AM

        I can’t deny that Ovie has been playing very well as of late, but there is no way he should be declared the MVP. All this talk about him being on this amazing offensive surge like we’ve never seen before is just ridiculous. In his last 24 games Ovi has an impressive 1.38 PPG(points per game), while Crosby averaged 1.56 PPG throughout all of his games played this season, and an outstanding 1.69 PPG in his last 29 games. Ovi’s “late season rush” isn’t even close to the numbers Crosby CONSISTENTLY puts up.

        Ovechkin’s late success is also due the great play of Backstrom. Crosby doesn’t have a linemate that is even close to the skill level of Backstrom. Dupuis and Kunitz are both having the best years of their careers due to Crosby’s playmaking. Dupuis has 20 goals in 43 games, and his previous best is 25 goals in 82 games. Kunitz has 21 goals in 43 games, and his previous best is 26 goals in 82. Clearly Crosby always brings success to the table regardless of his coach, system, linemates, or position.

        Crosby contributes every single night. Even since he’s been hurt he probably contributes more than Ovi did in his first 20 games….haha. How can you call Ovi the MVP when he only showed up to play for half the season? Ovi may be the MVP for the last 25 games of the season, but Crosby was the MVP for all of the 36 games he played.

        There’s no doubt that when Ovi is on he’s an MVP candidate, but when he’s not, he’s a disease and drags the rest of his talented team down with him. They win when he’s good, and lose when he’s bad. It doesn’t mean they’d lose without him.

        Something to bear in mind when talking about Crosby’s contributions to the Penguins, and their overall play: the Penguins had 122 goals as a team when he went down with injury, and Crosby had 56 points. In other words, Crosby directly factored into 46% of goals scored on the top rated offensive team (and, clearly, they were the top rated offensive team in large part to one Sid Crosby). Where Ovi has contributed 48 points out of 134 goals scored, which accounts for only 36% of the teams offense.

        Crosby will miss a total of 12 games which is 25% of the entire season, and he will still be in the top 5 in points, possibly even top 3.

        How can anyone tell me that Crosby is less valuable to his team than Ovechkin???

    • polegojim - Apr 17, 2013 at 5:04 PM

      Crosby may not have played because he was INJURED.

      OVI dresses and puts on skates… but still doesn’t show up.

      Like him or not… Crosby is a gamer EVERY time he laces them up. Ovi is NOT.

    • flavadave10 - Apr 18, 2013 at 11:54 AM

      The Hart Memorial Trophy goes to the player who is most valuable TO HIS TEAM. Not the best player in the league. I’d love to hear an argument about how Ovechkin isn’t extremely valuable to the Capitals. When he was “invisible” (AKA learning a new offensive system and dealing with a position switch), the Capitals stunk. When he heated up, the Capitals got back on track. If that ain’t valuable, I don’t know what is.

      • polegojim - Apr 18, 2013 at 10:49 PM

        Flava… I’m not saying he’s not extremely valuable… I’m saying with his On and Off approach to the game, he isn’t nearly as valuable as Crosby. I’m also weary hearing about Ovi ‘learning’ so many offenses… He’s NEVER been paid NOT so score right?’

        Ovi pouts and coasts through games when he’s not happy or until he feels like it. That will NEVER have high value in my book.

      • flavadave10 - Apr 19, 2013 at 8:39 AM

        You know what else will NEVER have high value in my book? Constantly being injured like Sidney Crosby. How are you being valuable to your team when you’re injured?

      • polegojim - Apr 19, 2013 at 2:29 PM

        I guess IMO – at least Crosby has had valid reasons or missing games… and not just ‘vacationing on skates’ like Ovi does. I have zero tolerance for that mess.

        Yes, Malkin is there… but Crosby makes the machine run long term.

      • flavadave10 - Apr 23, 2013 at 10:31 AM

        “Vacationing on skates”? He had a bad month in January, which can be attributed to several factors:

        1.) Position switch from LW to RW. Much harder than you think it is.

        2.) Learning a brand new system with minimal training camp. Ovechkin got his act together right around the time when training camp would normally end for a full-season. That’s not a coincidence.

        3.) For some odd reason, he was playing with the likes of Jay Beagle and Joey Crabb in January. Ovechkin’s bad habit is trying to do too much on offense, and surrounding him with guys who can’t do anything on offense only encourages said bad habit.

        Since January, even in February when people were still whining about how “bad” he was, he was still averaging a point per game. I contribute Ovechkin’s “struggles” in February to horrible luck with his shot percentage, which has quickly evened itself out in March and April. Being back with Backstrom has certainly helped too, as has Marcus Johansson doing a terrific job complementing Ovechkin on the left side.

        Without Ovechkin, the Capitals would be fighting to stay out of last place. Sounds like an ideal MVP candidate to me.

  5. sportsfreak13 - Apr 17, 2013 at 9:50 AM

    Personally I don’t care who wins this trophy because the only trophy I am concerned with is the Stanley Cup. My opinion is that both Crosby and Ovechkin have had really good seasons. Crosby has been consistent and if it wasn’t for breaking his jaw this probably wouldn’t be a discussion. He still leads the league in points after missing all these games. Ovechkin leads the league in goals however and that cant be denied. He was invisible the first half of the season, but who remembers that now? Good to have you back Ovi.

    • chanceoffleury1 - Apr 17, 2013 at 10:59 AM

      One can only hope the voters of the Hart Memorial trophy remembers that he was invisible for the first half of the season. Real MVPs don’t count on other players getting hurt or making mistakes to solidify their MVP status.

  6. operwapitsai - Apr 17, 2013 at 9:56 AM

    geez from all these headlines and Pittsburgh side notes in just about every other article, im sure I know who the writers on this site think should win the MVP….

  7. natswizskincap - Apr 17, 2013 at 9:58 AM

    Who cares? Caps fans should only care about the Stanley Cup! I want to put an end to Canes fans always having that over us. Whats important is that OVI is playing well enough to be in the running. As far as the MVP, I’d be surprise if Sid the Kid gets it only because he’ll missed significant time, again and its at the end of the season. This is a what have you done for me lately world!

    • ibieiniid - Apr 17, 2013 at 10:03 AM

      i mean, plenty of people care about the biggest individual award in the sport. i know it’s a team sport, but the teams are made up of individuals that strive to play their best. those individuals being awarded for their hard work is important IMO.

      • ibieiniid - Apr 17, 2013 at 10:04 AM

        may have misconstrued my feelings on that… I agree, the Cup is more important… but the Hart is right below it.

  8. neilbarne - Apr 17, 2013 at 9:59 AM

    sure, Ovi is on a great streak, but he basically took the first half of the season off…sorry, not an MVP. He wasn’t even his teams MVP for the first half of the season…
    Not only that, but look how much Crosby propped up Kunitz and Dupuis? Those two guys have never had season stats like they have this year and that is directly related to Crosby.

    • ibieiniid - Apr 17, 2013 at 10:11 AM

      still some games to go. if OV keeps on this streak of great play, it’ll be harder to dispute his MVP-ness (lol P-ness)

      • ibieiniid - Apr 17, 2013 at 10:11 AM

        wasn’t supposed to be a reply, sorry neilbarne.

  9. brianforster - Apr 17, 2013 at 10:00 AM

    caps fan here and it should go to BOBROVSKY (#1 cop on the force).. but they won’t give it to him because of the vezina. crosby is the better player, but ovechkin is more valuable to his team.

  10. 2jivecrew - Apr 17, 2013 at 10:56 AM

    Aww isn’t that cute, Caps fan thinking they can once again stick out their chest when it comes to Ovie.

    Ovie isn’t even in the top 5 Hart trophy candidates….at best. Look at what Crosby’s linemates were doing before he got hurt. And look at them since he’s been out. Case closed. And despite missing all these games, Crosby is still in the points lead. Again, case closed.

    • operwapitsai - Apr 17, 2013 at 2:50 PM

      Im pretty sure pittsburgh is 5-2 without crosby to go along with ~22 goals in that span. I dont think its crosby making a bunch of average players allstars. I think crosby just makes a good team better. Even without Malkin and Letang to go along with Crosby out of the lineup the pens can still win….On the other hand Ovi has to carry the capitals on his back every night. They live and die by Ovi as we can see by the two tales of this season. I think Most VALUABLE Player deserves to be Ovechkin simply because he really is so valuable to the capitals and the pens seem just fine without crosby

    • goobazooka - Apr 17, 2013 at 5:04 PM

      “Look at what Crosby’s linemates were doing before he got hurt. And look at them since he’s been out. Case closed.”

      I see what you’re trying to get at, and I’ll give you Kunitz, who has slowed down without Sid. But Dupuis has 9 points (3g, 6a) in his last 5 games. It’s not like these are garbage hockey players that Crosby miraculously turned into stars or anything. The penguins are stacked, and they continue to win without Sid. Are they a better team without him? Of course not. But they’re still one of the best teams in the league. Food for thought.

      But I’d imagine none of that matters to you, because your mind is most likely as “closed” as you perceive this case to be.

  11. rsl22 - Apr 17, 2013 at 10:58 AM

    I am a Caps fan, and he has been awesome lately.

    Yes, he sucked for about a month…but also remember, he had a new coach, was playing with a new center, and was playing a new position. It took about 12 games to get settled, and since then, the Caps have the third most points in the league behind Chicago and Pittsburgh.

    • jpelle82 - Apr 17, 2013 at 11:29 AM

      sick of the retarded comments making excuses for why a professional player slept through the first half of a season. he gets paid to play and he wasnt doing it. by his natural ability alone he shouldve had more goals than he did with a new coach or not. he wasnt playing within the new system anyway so what does that have to do with it? if you watch him he does what he wants out there and always has, his role in the new system is to shoot the puck and score on the power play…not too hard even for him to grasp. oh wait – alex ovechkin in 07-08 won the hart under new coach and new system with boudreau…how did that happen? he couldnt have possibly been able to do it with a new coach and new system…not possible. i’m sure gretzky and lemiuex didnt do it….and neither did joe thornton, peter forsberg, sergei fedorov, or eric lindros right? come on man, you act like his circumstances are unique or could somehow give him an excuse…its ridiculous.

      • rsl22 - Apr 17, 2013 at 12:07 PM

        It’s a shortened season. If it was a full season, his October start would be long forgotten by April. Over 82 games, he’d be on pace for 53 goals and 92 points.

        And even playing awful, he still recorded 10 points in his first 13 games, 15 points in his first 19 games. 90% of the league would be on track for a career year with those numbers.

        I get it though, you don’t like him. That’s fine. Have fun with that.

      • blackfoot11 - Apr 17, 2013 at 12:26 PM

        rsl22…I’m a Caps fan and agree with jpelle. There is no excuse for a player with Ovie’s skillset to start the season the way he did. For example, Mike Ribeiro had the same circumstances as Ovie, and produced from day one. Ribeiro deserves alot of credit for helping the Caps stay in the race until Ovie and Backstrom came around.

      • rsl22 - Apr 17, 2013 at 12:36 PM

        @blackfoot….If you read my comment, I did say, “Yes, he sucked for about a month.” I was simply saying that considering the circumstances, he has regrouped to the point of being a serious MVP candidate.

        Regardless of whether you are a Caps fan or not, based on the criteria being, “most valuable player to his team,” it seems to me that no other player is as valuable to his team as OV.

        Stamkos has St. Louis with the same number of points, Toewes has Kane with more points, the Penguins have rattled off four straight wins without Crosby….but the Caps sucked when OV wasn’t producing. That’s the way I see it.

        If you want to include Tavares or Bobvovsky, that’s fine. I think both of them are playing like MVPs as well, and do not want the Caps to face the Islanders in the playoffs.

      • blackfoot11 - Apr 17, 2013 at 1:14 PM

        rsl22, I did read your comment, but you qualified Ovie’s slump with the excuse of a new coach, new system, etc. Although, it was a reality for the player, its an excuse but not an excuse.

      • jpelle82 - Apr 17, 2013 at 3:12 PM

        ribeiro had even more “adversity” if you will – at least ovechkin kept the same teammates. ribeiro showed he is a professional and played how we was paid to play. he is below ovechkin’s paygrade but shouldve been cashing 8’s checks during the slump. personally i wish i could get paid for taking the first quarter off…i could blame it on my new boss or claim that my new position in the corner office has put me out of my comfort zone. then maybe they will reward me with salesman of the year in my region and i could go on a free trip somewhere.

  12. ottomanismydog - Apr 17, 2013 at 11:12 AM

    I’m glad OVI decided to join ‘Best Player in the World’ conversation. My DC college friends can come back out of their hole to talk smack again.

    OVI is having a great run, but let’s get down to brass tax…

    Crosby is playing on his same line since before the trades, Iggy plays with Malkin and Neal and Morrow plays with Sutter and Jokenin/Cooke. Sid not only makes his team better in the W column, he also has lead to career highs for Dupuis and Kunitz in even strength goals scored. The Kidd is also mixing it up on the PK this year.

    The only true way to judge the value of these two is how far they advance in the Playoffs. If the Pens are able to make it past the 2nd round and on, than the wealth of Sid’s play is obvious. If OVI and the Caps can get past the hump, than as they say, ‘the proof will be in the pudding’.

    We can only hope for ECF match up!

    • rsl22 - Apr 17, 2013 at 12:39 PM

      I guess you don’t follow hockey. Crosby hasn’t played a game in April, so no, he is not playing on the same line as before the trades.

      And the Pens have won four straight without him the lineup. He can be called the best player in the league (when healthy), but no, he is not the most valuable to his team, and that’s what the Hart Trophy is awarded for.

  13. sens101 - Apr 17, 2013 at 11:23 AM

    Right now Hart Trophy winner should be Tavares IMO. He has been pretty consistent the whole year and the Isles woul dbe nothing with out him. He plays huge minutes every night and is a great leader. However, I do think Ovi is a close second and Crosby a third. Pens fans saying that Crosby plays with two third liners is a bunch of bs. On any given pp, he plays with Malkin, Neal, Letang, Kunitz has always been a second line player and Dupuis has been producing despite Crosby’s injury. And Backstrom is the one who really picked up is game in WAS and it has help make OVI deadly again. However, having said all this, there is no doubt that Crosby is the best overall player in the game….sorry caps fans.

    • jpelle82 - Apr 17, 2013 at 11:40 AM

      nope hate to burst your bubble but JT is not even close yet. he scores more goals in games they are already winning than clutch or game winners and he has virtually disappeared in big games – has only 3 goals in 15 games against tor, bos, mtl, pitt, ott this year. he has less than 20 assists and plays CENTER. he’s preyed on car,fla, buf, phi, and nj this year which the rest of the league has as well. islanders are winning because they are a good team with secondary scoring. tavares only has 6 pts in april and has dropped to 16th in the league in points. not mvp worthy, he is cooling off at the wrong time too.

    • stakex - Apr 17, 2013 at 11:53 AM

      Tavares is in the conversation, but I don’t think he has much of a chance to win it.

      Also, if Ovechkin was playing like this all season… we might very well be having the “whos better” arguments like we were back in 09-10 betwen him and Crosby. I don’t think many people realize yet just how good Ovechkin has been lately.

      • chanceoffleury1 - Apr 17, 2013 at 12:36 PM

        “…if Ovechkin was playing like this all season… ” “…has been lately.”

        There you go. You just answered your own question. People realize just how good Ovechkin has been lately, and they realize Crosby has been that good all year. That’s why, even after missing 10+ games they are still considering giving him the MVP trophy. Like I said in my post below, even as a Pens fan I don’t think I give it to Crosby, but I sure as hell don’t give it to Ovi either. MVPs don’t only show up for half a season. Bobrovsky deserves it. Consistent play, the most dominant player at his position, steals a crap ton of games for his team. That’s an MVP if I ever saw one.

    • flavadave10 - Apr 18, 2013 at 11:59 AM

      I’m a Caps fan and I wouldn’t be upset if Tavares won. He’s made that team relevant again. Without him, they’d be lucky to not be a last-place team. Keep in mind that the Hart Memorial Trophy goes to the player most valuable to his team. Hard to argue against Tavares and Ovechkin because of that.

  14. sens101 - Apr 17, 2013 at 11:26 AM

    PS if Karlsson played the whole year he’d be the MVP….no doubt lol

  15. stakex - Apr 17, 2013 at 11:50 AM

    The big issue is that the Heart has lost its focus. Its suppose to go to the guy who is the most valuable to his team… not the “best” player in the league, not the guy with the most assists, or points, or goals. Its suppose to go to the guy who lifts his team the most.

    By that standard, I’m not even sure if Crosby is in the mix. The Pens are such a well coached team, with a plug-and-play system that allows them to keep playing right along without Crosby, Malkin, and Neal. I still think their defense and goaltending will doom them in the playoffs, but for they are a tough team to bear in the regular season even without Crosby or their other stars. Thats not to say Crosby doesn’t elevate the team… but its a less noticable impact then some other players out there.

    Point of fact: The Capitals were in last place at one point while Ovechkin adjusted to all the changes this year. Once it all clicked he caught fire, and the Caps are suddenly in 3rd place in the east and there are cup rumblings abound…. thats almost exclusively thanks to Ovechkins play. Crosby elevates an already dangerous team, but Ovechkin has pulled a lackluster team all the way into the Cup conversation for the bottom of the league. If thats doesn’t make you the MVP, I have no idea what does. If Crosby wins it, its simply a “Hey, he had a lot of points…” award, not a most valuable player award.

    • chanceoffleury1 - Apr 17, 2013 at 12:28 PM

      Oh you Caps fans, always so adorable with your “3rd place” talk! The only reason the Caps are in 3rd is because of a ridiculous rule to make sure at least 1 of Bettman’s prized southeast teams gets into the playoffs. The Caps are actually in 6th place (they have a game up on Ottawa). Enjoy the division win now because it’ll probably be your last for a while once you have to start beating actual teams to win it. Next year it won’t just be grinder rosters with a few Staals, a Stamkos, and a St. Louis sprinkled in.

      I love the optimism of “bought into Cup conversation” too. Let’s try and get out of the second round now, shall we? Chicago, LA, Boston, Pittsburgh, and Anaheim laugh at you. The Caps streak started because at the beginning of April they got really excited once they realized they might actually get to play hockey into the 2nd week of May this year! Such an exciting opportunity for them. Love that the lockout is helping the less fortunate. Part of the agony of the Caps-Pens rivalry is that it’ll never be as fun to troll their fans as the Philly-Pens one is. You can’t just say “1975.” You have to drag it on and be like “Remember that ONE time in the history of your franchise that you made it out of the second round and ended up getting totally blown out in the Cup Finals in 1998?” So long and drawn out. Really though, it’s cute.

      • blackfoot11 - Apr 17, 2013 at 1:04 PM

        If you are a Pens fan, you should know your own history with division championships. In 19 season existence of the old Patrick Division (which the Caps and Pens consistently made the playoffs), the Pens only on two division titles (’91 & ’93) to the Caps one (’89). Moreover, when the Pens moved to the Atlantic division in 1994, your first title wasn’t until 2008. Furthermore, the Pens have not made it out ot the 2nd round either since they won the Cup in ’08-’09. Yes, the Pens have 3 Cups to the Caps zero, but you talk like the Pens have been perennial division champs throughout he franchises existense. Make sure you know the history of your own team before bashing mine, and what self respecting man uses “Cute” anyway.

    • blackfoot11 - Apr 17, 2013 at 12:36 PM

      There are many aspects to credit for the Caps turn around that is beyond Ovie’s improved play. 1. Ovie being reunited with a healthy and productive Backstrom 2. Mike Ribiero remaining consistent 3. Mike Green getting healthy, looking durable and scoring goals 4. Hotlby improving in goal and D-men in front of him playing better 5. The top ranked PP and PK improving. Yes, Ovie is the most visible and obvious, but the Caps have improved dramatically overall as a team.

  16. chanceoffleury1 - Apr 17, 2013 at 12:01 PM

    As a Pens fan, I don’t see how they can justify giving the MVP to anyone besides Toews, Crosby, Bobrovsky, or Tavares. If they want to take the Hart race from a standpoint of a solidifed leader in the lockerroom, who also completely takes over the ice and dominates opposing players whenever he is on it along with making his own linemates look good on every single shift night in and night out, you can’t give it to anybody besides Toews or Crosby. They are the most dominant defensive and offensive forwards on the ice this season. Whenever they are with your team’s superstar they make him look average and completely control almost every player on the ice.

    If they want to give the Hart to the player who best exemplifies the true definition of it, I think it is silly to consider anybody but Tavares or Bobrovsky. If you take them off their team, they are completely irrelevant and not at all competitive. Their teams live and die off of their individual success. They don’t live and die because the other players are underperforming, either. They live and die off of them because the rest of the teams’ “top lines” are 3rd and 4th liners on every other team and their own 3rd and 4th lines wouldn’t even crack an NHL roster on a Top 10 team in the league. The Caps are not a bad roster, they were just an underachieving roster. Green, Holtby, Ribiero and Backstrom are elite players no matter what team you put them on. Just because they were underperforming at one point or another doesn’t mean Ovi gets a pass for his own under-performance. A true MVP takes whatever players he’s given and turns them into top players in their own right (See: Moulson, Streit, Tyutin, etc). The “other” best players on the Caps are significantly more talented than the “other” best players on the BJs or Isles.

    If I could honestly give the Hart to any player in the entire league, I would give it to Bobrovsky. I don’t think there is a single player who even comes close to single handily winning games for their team night in and night out. If that doesn’t define the most valuable player I’m not sure what does! If you put a strong defensive team like Boston in front of him I’m not sure goals would ever be scored at all. It’d be nice to see it go to someone a little different, too. The guy that wins it seems to always be either the Art Ross or Rocket Richard winner. Defensemen and Goalies rarely win it. Just tell Crosby and Ovi: “Who cares whether it was because you were injured or just invisible, SCREW THE BOTH OF YOU FOR MISSING LOTS OF TIME!” and then give it to Bob. It’s just a shame b/c it’s arguably the 2nd Hart Sid will be missing out on due to injury.

  17. hockeywithdrawal - Apr 17, 2013 at 1:19 PM

    Doesn’t the fact that Crosby doesn’t have to even play a whole season to be the points leader weigh into this at all?

    Look, Ovi’s a great athlete. When he’s on, he’s an MVP candidate, when he’s not, he’s a virus and drags a talented team into the sh*tter. They win when he’s good, and lose when he’s bad. It doesn’t mean they’d lose without him…the fact that he is rubbing off on the team proves that 1) he’s a perenial MVP candidate AND, contrary to my personal belief, may have been the guy to wear the “C” after all… and 2) he has a lot to learn as a “C”.

    When Crosby can’t play because of injury, he’s there at practice and at many of the games cheering his team on. When Ovi is there but isn’t playing his best, he’s dragging a team that is following him down.

    Ovi’s done both this year. Maybe he’s ‘turned a corner’, or maybe he’s ‘back on the juice’….but as it is, if Crosby scores more points than Ovi, I’d give it to Crosby.

    • flavadave10 - Apr 18, 2013 at 12:03 PM

      No, but the fact that the Penguins have fared pretty well without Crosby does weigh into this. Also, points are (mostly) irrelevant when it comes to the Hart Trophy. What matters is who’s most valuable to his team. Crosby is a great player on a great team. Tavares and Ovechkin and Bob are basically carrying their respective teams.

      • hockeywithdrawal - Apr 18, 2013 at 12:09 PM

        So you have to be on a bad team, is what you are saying. Do you know that the Caps can’t win without Ovi? Or is that a guess since they pass the puck to him? What’s the record with him out of the line up?

      • flavadave10 - Apr 18, 2013 at 12:16 PM

        I know they can’t win when he isn’t at his best. I mean, Ovechkin isn’t fragile like Crosby, so I wouldn’t know if the Capitals can win without him or not. I do know, however, that the Penguins CAN win without Crosby. That’s a fact.

  18. comeonnowguys - Apr 17, 2013 at 1:25 PM

    It’s just like MVP talk in any other league. To bring up the FIFA wannabes on the hardwood, the Derrick Rose vs. Lebron MVP talk a couple years ago encapsulated this. Of course Lebron’s the best player in the league, but look what has happened to the Bulls in his absence.

    They should split it into MVP, the true definition of MVP, and Player of the Year/Best Player in all leagues It may just save us from this frustrating semantic debate four times a year.

  19. sens101 - Apr 17, 2013 at 1:39 PM

    Its not about points or goals or assists. its about who is the most valuable to their team. I think it’s tavares. they Isles would be nothing without him. Just because players dont get points in important games doesnt mean they play well. Good players create time and space for teammates just by being on the ice. I agree with possibly having Bobrovsky as a close second, but it has to be JT

  20. bru308 - Apr 17, 2013 at 2:39 PM

    No, it’s not Most Valuable to his team. It’s Most Valuable Player. Sidney Crosby is this years Most Valuable Player… Just ask all the GM’s around the league. Look at how he’s still leading the league in points, and how his linemate Kunitz has disappeared.

    Based on your guy’s “team theory”- Gretzky, Lemieux, Crosby and many others should all be discounted because they played on good teams. Just look at the Pens point production after 87 went down and you’ll find your answer.

    • comeonnowguys - Apr 17, 2013 at 3:05 PM

      No chance that regression to the mean has any part in their dropoff?

      • bru308 - Apr 17, 2013 at 6:02 PM

        Yes, if you believe Crosby is the variable. Which Crosby, is most definitely the variable. Kunitz, for example, would be your ordinary player that gets carried on the variables back. Take Crosby away and Kunitz goes back to the mean- average- normal.

      • comeonnowguys - Apr 18, 2013 at 11:56 AM

        I’m sorry, that’s way too absolute.

        Even if Crosby didn’t get hurt, to expect them to keep that pace is unrealistic. Teams get hot (white-hot, in this case), teams cool off. Yes, teams indeed suffer when their superstar goes down, but that doesn’t automatically mean that’s the sole cause of it–even with the season Crosby has had/will have.

    • hockeydon10 - Apr 17, 2013 at 6:38 PM

      For the memory and/or google impaired…

      Go to the page for the Hart Trophy. Here is the description:

      The Hart Memorial Trophy is an annual award given to the player judged to be the most valuable to his team. The winner is selected in a poll of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association in all NHL cities at the end of the regular season.

  21. isithockeyseasonyet - Apr 17, 2013 at 2:58 PM

    Crosby missed too many games to win it, not his fault but is what it is, he’d be the MVP if he played a few more games or maybe arguably if his team significantly fell off after he went down (which they didn’t)

  22. jetsflyinghigh - Apr 17, 2013 at 3:35 PM

    I know it’s rare for a goalie to win MVP, but I think both Lundqvist and Bob deserve serious consideration. They are the backbone’s of their respective teams and as they go, their teams go. I think Tavares should be a contender for it as well as the obvious choices in Crosby and Ovi.

  23. 28giroux28 - Apr 17, 2013 at 4:23 PM

    Crosby is far and away the winner of the best player award, but as for MVP, its tough to argue the Pens would be bad without him. That’s why I think Ovechkin has to be considered ahead of Stamkos, Crosby, Kane, etc.

  24. hockeydon10 - Apr 17, 2013 at 6:44 PM

    I see a lot of comments about Ovechkin taking “half the season off”. He had 20 points in the first half of the season. Hyperbole may work when making bombastic statements (not really), but when people have such easy access to the truth, it only hurts your cause.

    Who should win? Bobrovski for showing that brilliance we saw during his games with Philly.

    Who will win it? Crosby, because the writers love the story line and the NHL feels like they need the headline of this latest “Next One” doing so well after the lockout.

    Who would I pick? It’s close between Bob the Goalie, OV, or Tavares.

    • bmoreredfury311 - Apr 17, 2013 at 7:39 PM

      Totally agree, i have to say Bob as well.

      Caps wouldn’t be where they are now, w/o their captain. but they wouldn’t be bottom either. Jackets on the other hand, have a bunch of new talent and are still learning. And w/o a great goal tending they wouldn’t even be close, to where they are now.

      IMO i could care less about the individual awards/trophies, I want the Big shinny silver one.
      Lord Stanley Cup

  25. thedavesiknowiknow - Apr 17, 2013 at 7:23 PM

    I’m not necessarily sticking up for Ovie here, but has anyone accusing him of taking “half the year off” considered the coaching change and the potential for any player to suffer from the transition? Anyhow- given that the Hart is awarded to the player most valuable to his team (as opposed to the best player), it’s hard to argue against Ovie given the boost he’s provided to the Caps: especially considering the timing of his resurgence. Agree or disagree, it’s good to have a dynamic player back again.

  26. babykaby - Apr 18, 2013 at 8:14 AM

    For all the people saying Ovechkin was invisible the first half of the season, you are showing a huge lack of intelligence or you you just didn’t watch the games. I’ve seen every game this year and the guy was always out there trying, right along with his teammates. Only someone with very little hockey smarts (or they listen to Milbury too much) would not recognize all that the Capitals had to acclimate themselves to this season with only one week of preparation. In my life I have worked for a number of different bosses, and everytime we got a new one (even though I was doing the same thing I was trained to do) it took a while to perform the way the new guy wanted. I imagine it is the same with hockey teams. So not only new coach and new system, add in new playing position, constantly changing linemates, numerous new teammates, two of your best players out injured and no practice time, of course it is going to take a while to get going.

    For those saying he was no where to be found early on, that only proves the point that when Ovechkin did finally grasp everything his coach wanted and he started getting it going, the Caps started winning consistently. Ovechkin has put this team on his back and carried them up the standings. The Caps go only as Ovechkin goes and anyone who watches their games knows it. Crosby maybe great, but with the depth on that team they don’t really NEED him. They have proven many times they win without him. So you have to ask, who is REALLY more valuable to their team? Between the two of them, there is only one answer: Ovechkin

    • flavadave10 - Apr 18, 2013 at 12:08 PM

      Ovechkin had to deal with learning a brand new system AND switching positions on the fly. That’s a very difficult thing to do, and I give Ovechkin all the credit in the world for making it work. Anyone who thinks moving from LW to RW isn’t that hard: try teaching yourself how to write NEATLY with your non-dominant hand. That’s pretty much what Ovechkin had to do.

  27. dumbassgreg - Apr 21, 2013 at 11:19 AM

    will be a joke if either tavares or bob does not win. it is whole even shorten season award. ovie and crosby each only played a bout half a season.

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