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Bylsma: ‘No question’ Crosby should win MVP

Mar 21, 2014, 12:53 PM EDT

Sidney Crosby, Dan Bylsma AP

To hear Dan Byslma explain it, Sidney Crosby is the runaway winner for this year’s Hart Trophy as NHL MVP.

“I don’t think there’s any question,” Bylsma said, per the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “I’m not sure there was last  year. He didn’t play as many games as he would have liked. I still thought he  distinguished himself as the MVP last season.”

Last year Crosby scored 56 points in 36 games, missing significant time with a broken jaw — yet still ended up finishing second in Hart voting to Alex Ovechkin, who captured the third MVP of his career.

The Hart Trophy disparity between Crosby and Ovechkin has made for some interesting discussion. With three MVPs, Ovechkin is in some pretty hallowed ground, joining the likes of Howie Morenz, Eddie Shore, Bobby Orr, Gordie Howe, Bobby Clarke, Mario Lemieux and Wayne Gretzky as the only three-time Hart winners in NHL history.

Crosby, meanwhile, has been stuck on one MVP since capturing the 2007 Hart. Ovechkin, Henrik Sedin, Corey Perry and Crosby’s running mate in Pittsburgh, Evgeni Malkin, have all won since.

This year, though, No. 87 looks to be the clear-cut favorite.

He leads the NHL in assists (58) and points (91) through 69 games. That latter statistic is key, because Crosby has appeared in every game for the Pens — in his previous eight seasons, he’s never managed to play all 82 (or, in the case of the lockout-shortened ’13 campaign, 48.)

It’s partly why Bylsma is so convinced Crosby will be taking home his second-ever Hart Trophy this summer.

“This season, I don’t think it’s  even close,” Bylsma said. “I think there’s no question. I think he’s skating away with it.”

139 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. steelcity333 - Mar 21, 2014 at 12:55 PM

    He clearly is the MVP. No debate here. But let the hating commence……

    • ibieiniid - Mar 21, 2014 at 1:39 PM

      thumbs down just because you seem too happy about that.

      • steelcity333 - Mar 21, 2014 at 2:05 PM

        I love it when people knock him. The guy leads the league in scoring by 15 points. He’ll be the only guy to reach 100 points. The largest lead in scoring since 98-99. It makes them sound like complete morons.

      • ibieiniid - Mar 21, 2014 at 2:06 PM

        lol idk if anybody knocks his SKILL anymore, just a lot of people don’t like him or his style of play. anybody that says he isn’t good is wrong, anybody that says he’s a pu**y is right.

      • ibieiniid - Mar 21, 2014 at 2:07 PM

        oh but ya, i was saying I thumbed down you because I can’t stand seeing penguins fans happy.

        Cheers!

        -A Flyers Fan.

    • pastabelly - Mar 21, 2014 at 2:22 PM

      He’s a great offensive player. If this award is for the best offensive player, I would agree that it’s Crosby. His plus/minus is very pedestrian at +10. Jonathan Toews and Patrice Bergeron are better all around players and their plus/minus or goal differential proves that out. It’s no mistake that each lead their teams further when it counts than does Crosby.

      • hockey412 - Mar 21, 2014 at 2:31 PM

        good lord you boston guys….maybe they should give every award to a player from Boston. That’d probably seem right.

      • jpelle82 - Mar 21, 2014 at 2:43 PM

        how has bergeron led his team further when it counts? i’m pretty sure they have the same number of playoff games played, stanley cup appearances, wins, and olympic medals…. and bergeron has never been the captain of any of those teams. i follow you on toews but how is bergeron relevant to your argument?

      • sabatimus - Mar 21, 2014 at 6:48 PM

        Have you seen Bergeron play? In any case Bergeron doesn’t have anywhere near enough points for the MVP. However, he’s the best two-way forward I have ever seen. Crosby’s plus-minus is good considering how erratic plus-minuses are on the Pens given the number of goals the team has scored (e.g. Stempniak at -19?).

      • chanceoffleury - Mar 21, 2014 at 7:02 PM

        Your argument is pretty one-sided. It’s easy to look at a defensive statistic and argue that defensive minded players are better “all around” because they are better in that individual statistic. Chicago and Boston have much higher goal differentials than Pittsburgh (+10 and +29 in relation to Pittsburgh) and they have both overall just scored more goals in general than Pittsburgh this season, so in theory their top line players *should* have a higher +/- that the Pens top line.

        You really can’t cross reference +/- between teams and use it as a reliable statistic. It just rarely translates fairly. Shea Weber is a -13 to James Neal’s +14. Now show me a person who says Neal is more defensively responsible than Weber and I’ll show you a person that needs put back on their meds. Plus-Minus is a very foggy statistic.

        You’re also downplaying the fact that Crosby’s offensive accomplishments aren’t close to being matched by anybody else in the league. He’s essentially got twice the points of Bergeron. Crosby produces at the rate of 2 Bergeron’s. And that’s basically just Crosby and Kunitz since the hunt for his new right winger is still in the ongoing auditioning process. Crosby’s defense isn’t bad, his defense just isn’t the absolute best. As a centerman he is very, very solid defensively.

      • tsi431 - Mar 21, 2014 at 8:26 PM

        sabatimus,

        Stempniak is actually +2 with the Penguins. He was -21 with the Flames.

      • chanceoffleury - Mar 21, 2014 at 9:08 PM

        In retrospect of my post, I felt it came off as a little “Bergeron bashing” which wasn’t what I was trying to state. Bergeron is an insanely valuable player and one of the best at what he does. I can’t recall anybody doing a better job at shutting down Crosby than the clinic Bergeron put on in the ECF. But basically what I’m trying to say is that I think it’s extremely difficult to compare the two because their strengths are so evidently different. I was just trying to make a point that Boston and Chicago were better teams than the Pens this season and that often any stat can become blurred when translating it from team to team. Especially across conferences.

      • c9castine - Mar 22, 2014 at 12:00 AM

        what are you talking about?

        first of all +/- means nothing in this discussion unless its like, -30 something (AO).

        secondly, im pretty sure crosby has captained a stanley cup champ team and been to another final, scored the game winning goal to win an olympic gold medal, and captained an olympic gold medal team in which his team coach, an opposing NHL coach, has repeatedly said he “dominated the tournament”.

        people are wacko.

    • billsin20xx - Mar 21, 2014 at 3:05 PM

      If Miller keeps doing what he has been he will deserve it. After getting out of his minor league team in Buffalo he’s been dominating.
      And of course it will show Blysma how wrong he was not to allow him to at least split games in the Olympics with Quick!

      (BTW, I am kidding, the voting will happen before Miller leads the Blues to the Cup this year so Miller won’t have enough time in to show he is the MVP)

  2. patthehockeyfan - Mar 21, 2014 at 12:56 PM

    I’m not a big fan of Bylsma; but, I have to agree with him. Sid is this year’s MVP.

    • yougotgirouxed - Mar 21, 2014 at 1:37 PM

      Bylsma is always one to make bold statements…

      • iamcanadian87 - Mar 21, 2014 at 4:19 PM

        He must have learned it from Laviolette…

  3. bigbadbruins77 - Mar 21, 2014 at 12:59 PM

    It’s not even close. ..

  4. capspats - Mar 21, 2014 at 1:02 PM

    He definitely didn’t deserve it last year, cause the hart trophy means most valuable to your team, and since he missed so many games he definitely wasn’t more valuable to his team than ovi. But he’s been healthy this year and he absolutely deserves it this time

    • 11111111111a22 - Mar 21, 2014 at 1:10 PM

      Yeah don’t you hate that verbiage though? “Most valuable to your team”. Shouldn’t it just be “who was the best player on the planet this season”?

      • ibieiniid - Mar 21, 2014 at 1:20 PM

        111111111a22, turning the MVP into the BPOTP

      • JoeAvg - Mar 21, 2014 at 2:45 PM

        It’s same old question about the definition of the award I’ve been hearing ever since the Hart was practically given to Gretzky at season’s start. But anybody who thinks generational talents like Crosby, Gretzky, Lemieux, Orr, et al weren’t/aren’t the “most valuable to their team” understands little about what all they do for them. Do they still win without them in the lineup? Of course they do. Would the team be anywhere near as good as they are if they had never been there? No.

        As an annual award, you can argue that the definition should be changed to player who had the most outstanding season. But as far as value to their team….Despite the supporting cast, I don’t see the Oilers winning five cups in seven years without Gretzky leading them from their embryonic years through the first four. These players do deserve the award under it’s current terms.

      • drewsylvania - Mar 21, 2014 at 3:59 PM

        @JoeAvg Then why both awarding the Hart every year? Just give to Crosby until his career is over.

        You shouldn’t *assume* that a player who didn’t play *would* have made their team that much better that year.

      • 11111111111a22 - Mar 21, 2014 at 4:24 PM

        Best word usage for the week goes to JoeAvg for his use of “embryonic”.

        Check out the big brains on Brad!

  5. capspats - Mar 21, 2014 at 1:03 PM

    And no, I’m not a hater and I enjoy seeing Sid play

  6. ibieiniid - Mar 21, 2014 at 1:06 PM

    it would take something big to knock him out of the front-runner spot. the only person capable of doing something that big at this point is Phil Kessel. if he carries the leafs to the playoffs, and scores a bunch of points while doing it, I could see him taking it… but the chances of that are pretty slim too. it will almost definitely be Crosby.

    • imleftcoast - Mar 21, 2014 at 2:17 PM

      Here’s a news flash: there are two halves of the league. Matt Duchene, Corey Perry, Toews, Seguin and Thorton all deserve consideration. Crosby and Kessel? Penguins are not making a run, and the Leafs are going to squeak in to the playoffs.

      • 11111111111a22 - Mar 21, 2014 at 2:47 PM

        Ha. Joe Thornton. Watch more hockey, bro.

        #LeftCoast,brah.

      • ibieiniid - Mar 21, 2014 at 2:48 PM

        you realize that my post was a hypothetical right? “if he carries the leafs to the playoffs, and scores a bunch of points while doing it,” then he gets those bonus points for being, ahem, valuable to his team. in my opinion, that puts him ahead of every one of those guys you named that aren’t even definitely TEAM MVPs, let alone league MVPs. Perry has his Getzlaf, Toews has his Kane, Seguin has his Benn, and Thornton has plenty of other competition. those are just all-around solid teams (DAL may be the only exception, although they’re still a good team) that they play on. JVR is the closest competition Kessel has… I think that gives him a leg-up over the rest of those guys.

    • 11111111111a22 - Mar 21, 2014 at 2:50 PM

      What’s your favorite color and why? Go!

      • ibieiniid - Mar 21, 2014 at 3:05 PM

        orange. you can probably understand why.

    • 11111111111a22 - Mar 21, 2014 at 2:52 PM

      Yeah you big left coast dummy! Oh, also, Flyers are a team I dislike strongly and do not wish well upon so take that, IBIEINID. Your name is difficult.

      And your sandwiches are mediocre.

      SHOTS FIRED!!!!

    • drewsylvania - Mar 21, 2014 at 4:03 PM

      Kessel should have no shot. He doesn’t even know what defense is.

      • ibieiniid - Mar 21, 2014 at 4:06 PM

        didn’t stop OV from winning 3 of them.

      • 11111111111a22 - Mar 21, 2014 at 4:10 PM

        ^Preach

  7. pitpenguinsrulez - Mar 21, 2014 at 1:06 PM

    Ovie having 3 like Lemieux is a joke! Sid should win it but Giroux will get some votes due to how that team turned around.

    • ibieiniid - Mar 21, 2014 at 1:12 PM

      when OV’s career is over, the significance of him to the Capitals will be equal to Lemieux’s significance to the Penguins. not taking a stand on who’s a better player, but OV brought excitement and, most importantly, attendance back to DC hockey. trust me, I lived there when he did it.

      • ibieiniid - Mar 21, 2014 at 1:24 PM

        oh, aside from the ownership part. I mean as far as playing goes. glaring oversight on my part lol.

      • pitpenguinsrulez - Mar 21, 2014 at 5:02 PM

        I agree with you on that one. Ovie helped to usher in a different breed of Caps fans, the new ones. He’ll be a legend in that area for sure. Will he win a cup there? I don’t think so personally.

        Now I know you won’t hear this but you can say the same about Crosby as well in those contexts. Crosby also brought in a different breed of fans. The new generation of Pens fans are of a younger demographic. You look at Pittsburgh and you see that it’s a football first city due to the older generation. Given time and successful in the future it could change. The younger fans don’t have a grasp of hockey before Sid. I see this with friends I have and where I go to school at, the University of Pittsburgh. I can walk around campus wearing my Kasparaitis jersey and most don’t know who he was nor when he he played here. Atleast the Flyer fans there know who he was. You can probably make the same cases with Capitals fans before the Ovie era. Bash me all you want but what I say is very much true.

      • c9castine - Mar 22, 2014 at 12:11 AM

        sorry dude, but you cant even begin to understand the impact Lemieux has had on the Penguins AND the whole Pittsburgh region unless youve been around here for a long time.

        Ovie revitalized the Caps, started selling tickets, made hockey relevant again, made them a good team again got people in the city excited…

        and those things account for a very small fraction of what Mario Lemieux has accomplished since he became a Pittsburgher in 1984.

        No knock on Ovie, he just isnt that guy. hes not going to buy the team to save it from going belly up financially and then broker a deal with the city and state to get a new arena built. he may or may not establish a far reaching and “powerful” foundation such as the mario lemieux foundation which has built numerous cancer centers and pediatric hospitals around the region and the country. hold a yearly event to raise money for cancer research…and ignite the city with passion every time his name is even mentioned. one could go on and on.

        Ovie is a good guy and im sure hell do a lot of good in his life but your statement is incredibly naive an misguided and just generally ignorant. his equivalent is crosby in that regard.

  8. 11111111111a22 - Mar 21, 2014 at 1:08 PM

    Not a Pens fan, nor Crosby by any means. He is hands down the best “hockey player” (meaning all-around) that I’ve ever seen play.

    Never saw Gretzky in his prime and let’s please not start arguments on players from different eras.

    Short list:

    Dats (one of kind talent, not only the most offensively talented player, but arguably the greatest defensive forward that has ever played)

    Stammer (best pure goal scorer in the game?)

    Ovi (most unique/dynamic talent ever? Absolutely explosive offense and physicality)

    Malkin (best power forward ever?)

    Toews (for lack of better description, poor man’s Crosby? I mean that in a great great way; guy is amazing)

    Who am I forgetting. Who do you guys have?

    (Cue: Giroux…Philly Hockey Talk)

    • ibieiniid - Mar 21, 2014 at 1:15 PM

      wait, what’s this a list of? good players? MVP candidates? offense only?

      • 11111111111a22 - Mar 21, 2014 at 2:17 PM

        Pretty much offense only because since #5 retired the world lost its last competent d-man (sarcasm, but only slightly). Best players in the world, though, to answer your question.

    • therooneyskilledwebster - Mar 21, 2014 at 2:22 PM

      Well at least we know you’ve only been watching hockey for the last 10 years. You claim to not want to argue about players from different eras but then you somehow have been able to determine that Dats, Ovi and Geno are arguably the best EVER in the disciplines you created? For starters most people don’t bring centers into the discussion when speaking of power forwards. If that was the case, Mario, Espo and Messier would certainly enter the discussion before Geno. The greatest power forward of all time was Howe. More recently, Neely, Tocchet, Keith Tkachuk and Kovi, but presently Ovi is far and away the best power forward. As far as Dats is concerned I’d be curious to know how Wings fans would compare him to Federov.

      • 11111111111a22 - Mar 21, 2014 at 2:37 PM

        What did I say about arguing players from different eras a la Fedorov/Dats.

        I was born in ’85 and I didn’t watch Orr, Howe, Richard etc etc play so I do not give opinions on them. How f’ing old are you? What was it like watching Howe and Lindsey play?

        Were you originally for or against the invention of the motor carriage?

      • 11111111111a22 - Mar 21, 2014 at 2:42 PM

        Wait wait, did you just say that Tochett and Walt are better than Geno? I have zero bias on all three but tell me you’re taking either of them in a fantasy land draft before Malkin…

      • ibieiniid - Mar 21, 2014 at 2:55 PM

        he would rather you talk about stuff you don’t know so he can “win” the argument. I run into the same thing. I barely even knew how to ogle the ladies when Gretzky retired. it’s tough to compare players that you’ve seen play 1000 times to players you only saw before you even firmly grasped the strategy of the sport.

        go back to the moose lodge therooneyskilledwebster (what), he made it clear what era he was talking about. best player that HE’s ever seen play.

      • ibieiniid - Mar 21, 2014 at 2:57 PM

        although I don’t see how Federov is out of the question. it hasn’t been THAT long since he played

      • 11111111111a22 - Mar 21, 2014 at 3:16 PM

        Yeah, go back to the Moose Lodge you goofy Canadian f***er.

        I can’t believe I’m siding with a PHI fan…at least you’re ‘Merican.

        Orange is a heinous color. Totally clashes with my entire waredrobe.

        I’m sorry for what I said about your sandwiches. They’re delicious.

        I’m pretty convinced Oscar Pistouros killed his girlfriend intentionally. Blade Runner is a dick.

      • ibieiniid - Mar 21, 2014 at 3:56 PM

        lmao @ goofy canadian fu**er, although we have moose lodges in the states too I believe.

        hey, I’m at least a rational PHI fan (most times).

        I actually don’t have any orange clothes that aren’t Flyers gear. I can’t say I’ve ever thought about my jersey clashing with anything though. and from what I remember from middle school art class, orange jersey and blue jeans, despite being on opposite sides of the color wheel (seriously, this is from middle school art class), do actually go together. who knew?

        no offense on the sandwiches. I’m actually from South Jersey and honestly, the cheesesteaks there are better than anything i’ve ever had in Philly. I know this is blasphemy to a Ph’l’el’phian, but i hate cheez whiz (sp).

        and… what’s this about Pistorious?

    • laxman1944 - Mar 21, 2014 at 2:42 PM

      Malkin beft power forward ever……How old are you kid??

      Never had a problem with Crosby’s talent at all. I just think he is a poor captain.

      • 11111111111a22 - Mar 21, 2014 at 2:58 PM

        We’ll I think you’re a poor captain. And the center peices you chose for your wedding were hideous.

      • laxman1944 - Mar 21, 2014 at 4:30 PM

        LOL……..They were pretty ugly…..Touche’ but I had no choice in the matter.

        Now go clean your room like a good boy.

      • 11111111111a22 - Mar 21, 2014 at 4:48 PM

        Fine. But because I want to, not because you told me to.

      • laxman1944 - Mar 21, 2014 at 7:04 PM

        Man your pretty sharp

        Good stuff

      • valoisvipers - Mar 22, 2014 at 12:07 AM

        Laxman—-Who do you deem better than Malkin?

    • 11111111111a22 - Mar 21, 2014 at 3:18 PM

      I got 14 thumbs down? Way to ruin a guys day, jerks. I HAVE FEELINGS TOO!!!

    • desertfan - Mar 21, 2014 at 3:46 PM

      In the unique/dynamic you are way off.

      You never saw Pavel- Ovi could not carry his jock!!!

      • 11111111111a22 - Mar 21, 2014 at 3:51 PM

        I saw Bure. I’ll definitely respect that argument. The real uniqueness in Ovi, for me personally, is that physicality.

        I must say, though, that I don’t feel you’re giving Ovi a fair shake with that statement.

      • atwatercrushesokoye - Mar 21, 2014 at 4:30 PM

        Pavel was the best pure goal scorer I ever saw, for unique/dynamic I think Lemieux and Fedorov were both ahead of him.

    • therooneyskilledwebster - Mar 21, 2014 at 3:52 PM

      “…arguably the greatest defensive forward that has EVER played the game…most unique/dynamic talent EVER…best power forward EVER…” I’ll let your lack of understanding your own words pass. Had you replaced EVER with this ERA or “I’ve ever seen” your argument would be more valid. You also clearly don’t understand the term “power forward”. Geno is clearly a more skilled offensive talent than Tkachuk, Neely, Tocchet but those players were all prototypical power forwards. You claim to have not seen Howe, Orr, et al play yet you manage to confuse Keith and Walt Tkachuk? By your “logic” Pujols must have been better than Ruth because you never saw the Babe play. There’s something called “video” and statistical analysis available for all.

      Finally, this ‘Merican (assuming I was Canadian was just another one of your incorrect assumptions) was originally for morons being able to post freely on the internet but is now beginning to second guess his position.

      • 11111111111a22 - Mar 21, 2014 at 4:00 PM

        And what might Keith Tkachuks nickname have been….? Yep, Walt. In the words of Major Payne “who’s the dummy now?”

        And yes, I was referring to the best I’ve ever seen because I like to have observational evidence behind my opinions.

        Re: Pujols/Ruth, as I said, I don’t entertain arguments across multiple generations. The games change, the players evolve, it’s not fair to either era/player.

        You’re pretty feisty for a Canadian.

      • therooneyskilledwebster - Mar 21, 2014 at 4:11 PM

        …and you’re not very bright for a ‘Merican, but that was obvious from the start, i.e. Geno the power forward.

      • 11111111111a22 - Mar 21, 2014 at 4:28 PM

        I got a 32 on my ACT and my mom says I’m gifted. One time I completed a Rubicks cube in 58 seconds. I know pi up to the 9th decimal.

        I’m iz smardt!!!

      • therooneyskilledwebster - Mar 21, 2014 at 4:59 PM

        It was a great American who once said so poignantly ” what a waste it is to lose one’s mind, or not to have a mind is being very wasteful. How true that is.” Ok, so it was Dan Quayle.

    • ibieiniid - Mar 21, 2014 at 3:58 PM

      seriously, how did you get so many hostile responses simply by starting a discussion with your opinion. unbelievable, these hockey fans are.

      • 11111111111a22 - Mar 21, 2014 at 4:02 PM

        Want to know something ironic, the whole reason I actually have an account was to reply to something you said that I disagreed with. In reference to biggest early season disappointments you said,

        “I’d have to go with the Blues. Sure, they’re winning a lot, but not by the margins people expected.”

      • ibieiniid - Mar 21, 2014 at 4:04 PM

        lol was I joking? i do that.

      • 11111111111a22 - Mar 21, 2014 at 4:07 PM

        I know. I found that out after I went all white-girl crazy on you with my response. That was back before I knew the definition of “trolling” (which subsequently is what I’m doing I that moose lodgeaple syrup Canadian bastard right now.

        GO HACK DOWN ANOTHER TREE YOU GOOFY CANADIAN LUMBERJACK!!!

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Mar 21, 2014 at 4:27 PM

      It’s ridiculous to say that someone is the greatest something of all time but then not want to compare eras, here are some comparisons from players within the last 15 years, if you were born in 85 you should have seen them.

      Fedorov was better than Datsyuk, he was a sleek skater, could dominate offensively and could play great defense as evidenced not only by the fact that he won the Selke but would also play defense. Scotty Bowman (if he’s before your era look him up) once said that if he had played Fedorov on defense for an entire season he has no doubt that he’d have won the Norris trophy.

      Ovi is not the most unique/dynamic talent ever (and I’m a big Ovi fan) that would be Mario Lemiuex (a player I was not a fan of) if he had remained healthy through his entire career he would have been the only one who could have ever challenged Gretzky’s numbers.

      Malkin would be lucky to crack the top 10 on greatest power forward of all time list, that’s not meant to be a knock on him just a reality of where he stands on the historic lists.

      Your list is a decent partial list of best players in the game today, your lack of taking into account anyone from west of the central time zone is sad.

      • 11111111111a22 - Mar 21, 2014 at 4:41 PM

        1. I think it’s been well documented that I’m not referring to “all time”.

        Just currently, and just my opinion.

        How can you say “your opinion is wrong, Fedorov is better”?

        I’m a Western Con’f guy, the fact that I mentioned East guys is purely coincidental. I dislike every team in the East aside from one.

        Short list of West Con’f SUPERstars (relax, I’m sure I’ll miss a few.

        Maybe Getz
        Probably Perry
        Towes
        Kane
        Maybe Parise
        Maybe Anze
        I would say no on Benn/Seguin (ask me again in 5 years)
        I would say no on Jumbo, personally I find him one-dimensional
        Taylor Hall probably
        Duchense probably

        But still all those guys are a half-step behind the Sids, Ovi, Dats & company.

        Now damn me further for having opinions.

      • atwatercrushesokoye - Mar 21, 2014 at 5:06 PM

        First off, you said all time for several, I read that and argued against that, if you had meant currently you should have said that.

        Secondly I never said your opinions were wrong, maybe ignorant (as they would be if you were calling those players the best of all time in their specific categories as you clearly wrote) but I believe you have every right to your opinion as I am to my mine.

        As to your Western conference superstars I respect the list, I agree with you on some, and here are my opinions:
        Getzlaf and Perry would definitely be
        Towes and Kane yep
        Parise, I’m not sure, probably but if I were to select a star from that team it would be Suter
        Seguin, easily
        Taylor Hall…absolutely not (IMO) he’s so horrible defensively, gives the puck away constantly, does nothing to elevate his team, he’s a modern day Valeri Bure….I will admit I’m a biased Flames fan.
        Duchense, well on his way, I think what the 2002 Olympics did for Iginla (actually it was the 2001 summer camp) the 2014 Olympics will do for Duchene

        I’m guessing you’re trolling by saying they’re all a half step behind their eastern counterparts? Whatever, I guess we can re evaluate that after the Western Conference once again produces the Stanley Cup winner.

  9. smileysmith99 - Mar 21, 2014 at 1:14 PM

    hard to argue that Crosby won’t get the regular season MVP, although Giroux and Ovechkin will get more than a few votes.

    When the Pens get bounced from the playoffs early, though, we’ll once again see how valuable 87 really is when it matters most.

    • hockey412 - Mar 21, 2014 at 2:00 PM

      The Pens have made the playoffs every year but one since Crosby’s been on the team. His lowest PPG year was 2006-2007 was 1.00. That is to say, he’s been a point per game player or better every year in the playoffs. They’ve been to three conference finals, won 2. Two Stanley Cup finals, won 1. Dude’s currently 26 – so that’s a pretty good resume.

      There is a problem with the Pens play in the playoffs, but it’s not named Crosby.

      • narfmoo12 - Mar 21, 2014 at 2:14 PM

        Here’s the problem…. In Crosby’s last 7 elimination games, he has been held pointless in 6 of them, and had 3 points in a game 4 victory over the Flyers. He’s also -5 in those 7 games. To me, that says he’s not showing up when the other team has 3 wins.

      • hockey412 - Mar 21, 2014 at 2:42 PM

        Narf – So you’re saying, that instead of using the total body of work as the sample, we should take a cross-section of that…the problem with what you are saying is that, if you look only at elimination games, you are looking at teams that are outplaying the Pens (by definition of the ‘elimination’ games). As your other sample you are using when the pens are outplaying the opponent (the game 4’s you reference). So basically you are saying Crosby isn’t performing as well when the Pens are getting beat by what could be a tougher opponent…it doesn’t work. I’m looking at the total body of work.

      • ibieiniid - Mar 21, 2014 at 2:14 PM

        “There is a problem with the Pens play in the playoffs, but it’s not named Crosby.”

        that never works as an excuse for OV, why do you expect it to for Crosby?

      • hockey412 - Mar 21, 2014 at 2:43 PM

        I think that excuse DOES work for Ovi. When the Caps are eliminated, you can’t say it’s Ovi’s fault. Unless he’s not producing. My point is the Crosby IS producing in the playoffs, so why does the Pens being eliminated mean that Crosby’s not valuable to the team, as the original commenter said?

      • narfmoo12 - Mar 21, 2014 at 3:18 PM

        Hockey412 … The Penguins are actually 4-3 in those 7 games, it’s just Crosby who isn’t showing up, so your argument about the team being outplayed doesn’t really hold water. Also, elimination games are how players are judged, throughout all sports, regardless of weather it’s Jack Morris in 1991, Curt Schilling in 2001 and 2004, etc…

      • hockey412 - Mar 21, 2014 at 3:31 PM

        Then you’d further need to break down your sample to his stats when they win and lose. Otherwise you are in a ‘chicken or egg’ situation. I’m still sticking with total body of work. Any time someone examines a very slim sample, you have to wonder why.

        How many elimination games did Orr, Gretzky, or Lemieux win or lose? I disagree that elimination games are how players are judged.

        The Pens are my team, and while I love defending Crosby to the haters, I also love watching, say, Edmonton play Buffalo. Love the game. I’m fairly impartial, except when it comes to Boston, and I’ve seen 99% of Crosby’s games. I’ve seen him play helmetless for an extended period of time after having a broken jaw, trying ANYTHING to get some emotion in his team, etc. To say he doesn’t show up only means you are watching stats, not games.

      • narfmoo12 - Mar 21, 2014 at 3:43 PM

        I told you, the Penguins are 4-3 in their last 7 elimination games. Crosby was held pointless in 6 of them, and is -5 in the 7 games. That’s not cherry-picking. That also includes games 6 and 7 against the Red Wings, which they won, obviously. I’m saying that if you’re held pointless 6 out of your last 7 elimination games, and you’re -5 in those 7 games, you’re not helping the team. And yes, whooping up on a team early in an easy series pads the stats, but players are judged most for how they perform with their backs against the wall.

      • hockey412 - Mar 21, 2014 at 4:17 PM

        Crosby by hurt by a check from Franzen in those games, though, I think knocked out very early…so again, your watching stats, not the games. If Crosby is held pointless and his team wins, is it possible the D (and O) was keying on him because he destroyed them in games prior? Those are the questions your little analysis doesn’t answer. As for the minus 5, I’m not quite sure how to respond – one of those games includes the dreaded Philly meltdown, which I’d rather forget (-3). However, it doesn’t make him less valuable than any other ppg producer in the playoffs in my eyes. Clearly you disagree, and hell that’s fine by me – pass on him. I’ll take him any day! I still think you’re cherry-picking, however.

      • iamcanadian87 - Mar 21, 2014 at 4:27 PM

        I seem to remember Sid coming up big in a few Olympic elimination games too…

      • hockey412 - Mar 21, 2014 at 4:29 PM

        There is always a stat, or a reason, to refute it. In this case it will most likely be “Ha! We’re talking about the NHL here”.

  10. drewsylvania - Mar 21, 2014 at 1:14 PM

    Crosby wouldn’t be a bad choice, but advanced stats see plenty of others that are better.

    http://www.extraskater.com/players/on-ice?sort=cf_pct_rel

    By CF% rel, Patrice Bergeron and Mikko Koivu are the best players in the league.

    “CF%” is “Corsi For %”, which is the number of shots your team attempts while you’re on the ice against the number of shots your opponent gets while you’re on the ice. “CF% rel” is a player’s CF% relative to his team’s CF% when that player is not on the ice.

    By this metric, Bergeron and Koivu are +9.6% and +9.5%, respectively, good for #1 and #2 in the league. Crosby is 18th, at 6.6%.

    Probably not a perfect metric, but it might be better than traditional stats or eyeball data.

    • ibieiniid - Mar 21, 2014 at 1:17 PM

      they have a trophy for that basically, it’s the Selke. and Bergeron is ALWAYS in the running for that.

      • ibieiniid - Mar 21, 2014 at 1:18 PM

        my point being that it’s extremely rare for a defensively focused forward to come away with the Hart, so they have a different trophy to acknowledge that type of play.

      • pastabelly - Mar 21, 2014 at 2:28 PM

        Selke is best defensive forward. It’s neither MVP or best all around player. Hockey is in the dark ages when it comes to metrics. Bergeron and Toews are the most valuable players in the league. Koivu’s might have better CF% this year, but Toews does it when it counts just like Bergeron.

      • 11111111111a22 - Mar 21, 2014 at 2:28 PM

        The fact that Pasha hasn’t won every Selke since 2006 is a sham, farce and conspiracy. As such, I denounce said trophy and deny it’s validity. Toews wins Selke…who next, Joe Thornton.

        #Datsyuk

      • ibieiniid - Mar 21, 2014 at 2:39 PM

        ya but it’s never just defensive forward. it’s a defensive forward that tends to also excel at scoring/passing, hence Bergeron, Dats, Toews and Kesler being the last 4 winners. as far as awards go, offense has been more important than defense since as long as I can remember and they’ll never award a Hart based on corsi so stop trying to change the rules.

      • jpelle82 - Mar 21, 2014 at 3:20 PM

        selke is named for best defensive forward with at least 50-60 points or more. there are plenty of guys that are better defensively but just dont put up the points to go with it.

      • drewsylvania - Mar 21, 2014 at 4:11 PM

        “offense has been more important than defense since as long as I can remember and they’ll never award a Hart based on corsi so stop trying to change the rules.”

        So we’re supposed to keep awarding the Hart based on crappy data?

      • ibieiniid - Mar 21, 2014 at 4:12 PM

        by crappy data, are you referring to goals and assists?

      • ibieiniid - Mar 21, 2014 at 4:14 PM

        forget that. my objection, making the Hart and the Selke the SAME FU**ING TROPHY! they’re different trophies, and if you start judging the Hart based on possession stats, it becomes the same. that’s my objection. didn’t think I could make that any clearer.

      • drewsylvania - Mar 21, 2014 at 4:17 PM

        CF% rel is supposed to be a proxy for “best player”.

        Not “best defensive player”.

      • ibieiniid - Mar 21, 2014 at 4:21 PM

        that’s where our beliefs differ. i’m of the belief that corsi signifies a well rounded player, not the best player. i don’t see how you (or I) can argue this further with that fundamental difference.

      • drewsylvania - Mar 21, 2014 at 6:52 PM

        Selke isn’t “most well-rounded player”, it’s “best defensive forward”.

    • hockey412 - Mar 21, 2014 at 1:25 PM

      It might be better because it puts your boy Bergeron in the mix, you mean. Never woulda guessed….

      • therooneyskilledwebster - Mar 21, 2014 at 2:29 PM

        Cuz he’s biased towards his favorite team’s player, unlike yourself, who is 100% objective. Right.

      • hockey412 - Mar 21, 2014 at 2:44 PM

        I didn’t write the article, bubba.

      • hockey412 - Mar 21, 2014 at 2:46 PM

        I’d also put Giroux as a STRONG runner for this award, screw points, though he may be up there by season’s end. And let me tell you I HATE Giroux. But when you are looking at what a player has meant to his team, the Flyers didn’t turn around until Giroux did (there was also a coaching change, which could have an effect).

      • ibieiniid - Mar 21, 2014 at 3:09 PM

        actually, it took 11 games after the coaching change (don’t fact check my #) for G to score, and the team to turn around, but I don’t think that rules Berube out of the coach of the year running either.

      • jpelle82 - Mar 21, 2014 at 3:30 PM

        if the flyers make it further than the avalanche, berube’s got my vote. both guys took over teams that were terrible and didnt make the playoffs but roy’s got the rookie of the year and some of the best young talent in the league up front. oreilly, duchene, landeskog, stasny, mckinnon…he gets a little bit of a handicap compared to berube in my book.

      • drewsylvania - Mar 21, 2014 at 3:46 PM

        So you’re saying that the advanced stats are a) made up, and b) designed to prop up Bergeron specifically?

        That’s foolishness. Learn something about the new metrics before you open your mouth, if you don’t want to sound like a moron.

      • hockey412 - Mar 21, 2014 at 4:26 PM

        Um, no, moron…I’m saying you can pick a stat that favors Bergeron, and say “the other stats don’t mean as much as this one”.

        If I’m wrong, then I’m sure Bergeron will get it. Less than a point per game, but a great defensive forward. This is not redundant to the Selke at all, right?

      • 11111111111a22 - Mar 21, 2014 at 4:17 PM

        Cooper has to win the Jack Adams, right? Berube on the mix for sure though. Also mike Babcock if he’s able to take the Grand Rapids Griffins to the NHL playoffs…

      • hockey412 - Mar 21, 2014 at 4:28 PM

        I’m thinking it depends on the finish – Berube, Roy, Cooper.

      • jpelle82 - Mar 21, 2014 at 4:51 PM

        didnt know shots for and against were the new barometer for best forward…but… if you go by cf% rel it just makes it even more obscure because then you have to factor in every other teammate he has thats contributing to the number. the kings are a great defensive team therefore making kopitar, williams, and brown cf% rel not as dramatic as koivu’s yet they are all 3 in the top ten for cf%. if you want to use such stats that make mikko koivu the best player in the nhl then more power to you i guess but he’s a decent guy that plays on a bad defensive team therefore inflating his cf% rel. bergeron is the real deal…there’s no debating that and his team is good which just makes his cf% rel even more impressive.

      • drewsylvania - Mar 21, 2014 at 6:53 PM

        Sigh.

      • drewsylvania - Mar 21, 2014 at 6:55 PM

        Again, the Selke is best defensive forward, not “best player”. CF% rel is a proxy for “best player”. Why is this hard to understand?

      • hockey412 - Mar 24, 2014 at 9:14 AM

        Because common sense and observing a players ACTUAL PLAY is also a proxy for “best player”. How many votes, by his peers, has Bergeron ever gotten for the Lindsay? I realize you don’t know that, but we do know who the finalists are, and I don’t recall his name being on that list. I am pretty sure the other NHL players aren’t quite as in to the statistical side of things as you are…they use common sense and what they see on the ice.

    • iamcanadian87 - Mar 21, 2014 at 4:31 PM

      So basically, advanced stats say Koivu is the best player in the league? Well, that says all I need to know about relying on advanced stats for formulating an opinion.

      I’ll stick to WATCHING hockey for that…

      • drewsylvania - Mar 21, 2014 at 10:39 PM

        Fool.

    • pittsburghmohawk - Mar 23, 2014 at 1:46 AM

      When you are basing the best player in the NHL of a stat that says Mikko Koivu is one of the top 2 players in the league, you lose credibility. Really, Koivu top 2? Yeah scoring shouldn’t be considered. Afterall, the team with the most shots wins, right?

  11. muckleflugga - Mar 21, 2014 at 1:22 PM

    bylsma and shero … pure genius … they know talent … look at the olympics

    look at sidney at the olympics … when among the best he went unnoticed beyond his blatant flopping or sulking on the bench … simpering putz

    sidney crosby … all galaxy … in an age when the game’s become a black hole lmao

    mvp goes to the goal-getters … assists … you get an assist if the puck bounces of your ass … how can that rate

    crosby couldn’t carry lafleur’s sweaty jock … gretzky yzerman the hulls et al … men

    crosby … child

    every player in the game is the world’s best player in the moment when it all comes together … but they’re not darlings of media hacks or fans who’ve never actually played

    prolific herein

    • hockey412 - Mar 21, 2014 at 1:26 PM

      It’s heroin, isn’t it. It’s ok, you can tell us.

      • ibieiniid - Mar 21, 2014 at 1:27 PM

        all poets do heroin. fact.

        RIP Lou Reed.

      • JoeAvg - Mar 21, 2014 at 3:10 PM

        i….always…..imagined………it was…….the………mushrooms………growing…in…..his…..back…….yard……….

    • jpelle82 - Mar 21, 2014 at 2:02 PM

      so if you get a goal because it bounces off your ass, thats ok because its a goal right?

  12. flyerspsu - Mar 21, 2014 at 2:00 PM

    Crosby definitely deserves it

    after that there is a fairly big drop off to a group of guys like Getzlaf, Giroux, Toews, Kessel and Bishop

  13. SergeantKabukiMan - Mar 21, 2014 at 2:26 PM

    Can’t argue that. Stats pretty much speak for themselves.

  14. govtminion - Mar 21, 2014 at 2:30 PM

    I always look at MVP as the guy who would cause the biggest drop in production to their team if he wasn’t there. Crosby certainly would hurt the Pens by not being there, so I can get behind this. I’d look at guys like Matt Duchene and (seriously!) Tyler Seguin out west as well- can you imagine either the Avs or Stars being anywhere near where they are right now without the effort from those guys? A case can even be made for Ovechkin- since no one else on the Caps puts up regular scoring anymore, they’d be sniffing the league floor with the Sabres if Ovechkin was out for the season.

    It’s not about flashy numbers- it should be about who is the most valuable player to their team that season.

    • flyerspsu - Mar 21, 2014 at 2:35 PM

      you would need to throw Giroux in that group, literally anchors the entire team off and on the ice

      • govtminion - Mar 21, 2014 at 3:03 PM

        I’d love to, but they showed that they were able to compete without him contributing for the first two months of the season. He’s been great since Christmas, but prior to that… sorry, but I can’t back someone who didn’t start playing hockey until two months after the season started.

        Don’t get me wrong, I like Giroux, and I hope we see the post-Christmas version of him all season next year, but… I wouldn’t back him as MVP this year.

      • flyerspsu - Mar 21, 2014 at 7:10 PM

        The flyers were awful in the beginning of the season before Giroux took over, 3-10 and the worst offense the league, interestingly enough Giroux scored for the 1st time just a couple games later and from then on Giroux and the team got going

        who is the Flyers 2nd best forward? Simmonds? voracek? Couturier? Read? Not one of these guy has 60 point to their name, while for seguin he is probably not even best forward on his team; Benn and Duchene isn’t nearly the leader and all around player giroux is, same for ovechkin

    • desertfan - Mar 21, 2014 at 3:54 PM

      They are sniffing aren’t they??

  15. muckleflugga - Mar 21, 2014 at 2:33 PM

    i’m a huuuuuge fan of the penguins and sidney crosby so it is with welling eyes i say …

    coaches promote their players by way of motivation

    smart coaches on teams populated with megalomaniacs keep their cards close … unless they’re mike babcock who could find something positive in thermo nuclear meltdown

    bylsma is showing his hand while putting malkin at odds with crosby as if they didn’t already hate each others guts … malkin wants to be the man and crosby is the man as divined from on-high — hallelujah hallelujah hallelujaaaah

    when crosby is out malkin carries the load but the talk still focusses on sid … when crosby is out the team appears less dysfunctional while performing quite well thank you … whether sidney crosby is in or out marc-andré fleury stands on his head time and again while keeping games close

    some years back calgary did the big sell on phaneuf for the norris complete with leaflets and press conferences … the air is thinner up here so it was understandable … they’d have had more success selling amway chrome polish

    the same can be said of bylsma’s effort … aside from potential to divide further a team already divided our danny should keep it buttoned … a winner’s play should sell itself

    the hockey world is over-burdened with a crosby love-fest well past its sell-by-date

    the professional hockey writers’ association are notoriously jealous of the privilege bestowed upon them … smug and self-important as all hangers-on tend to be they’re also a contrary lot … how else can anyone explain the subban norris win

    marc-andré fleury is the logical choice as mvp in pittsburgh

    if bylsma were to apply his abundant smarts he’d quit polishing sydney’s image and give credit to his goalie

    discreetly but persistently and with conviction

    • pittsburghmohawk - Mar 23, 2014 at 1:50 AM

      Serioiusly, what drugs are you on?

  16. slaugin - Mar 21, 2014 at 2:36 PM

    Yea because Sidney Crosby has masked the fact that Bylsmas is not a good coach.

  17. slaugin - Mar 21, 2014 at 2:41 PM

    I’m not really seeing this Boston bias you speak of, in this thread

    • ibieiniid - Mar 21, 2014 at 3:11 PM

      you should include who you’re talking to in your posts. it’s impossible for us to tell if we’re using a PC and not the app.

  18. ironyisadeadscene - Mar 21, 2014 at 2:59 PM

    Winning the MVP will be the highlight of his year

  19. danglesnipecelly88 - Mar 21, 2014 at 3:29 PM

    Flyers = 1st round exit

  20. penguins87and71 - Mar 21, 2014 at 3:40 PM

    I think Crosby is the front runner for the Hart as of right now, that can change. There are a lot of players in the NHL deserving of the Hart trophy, I wouldn’t say Crosby is a slam dunk to win it.

  21. drewsylvania - Mar 21, 2014 at 3:49 PM

    Also, Bylsma’s opinion that Crosby should have won the Hart last year, with only 36 games played, says that Bylsma is a homer.

  22. redwings1977 - Mar 21, 2014 at 4:55 PM

    I’ve got to give credit to Crosby. It’s amazing the things he can do considering he has a vagina and everything. Burn!

  23. Lupy Nazty Philthy - Mar 21, 2014 at 6:17 PM

    I think Crosby’s the best player….but the Hart is the “Most Valuable to his team”. Penguins still have a pretty solid group of guys around Crosby.

    I know I’m biased but it’s hard to imagine how far out of the playoffs the Leafs would be if Kessel’s line wasn’t scoring. Offensively the rest of the Leafs have been having sub-standard seasons.

    Any of other MVP candidates have better supporting casts than Kessel does. Leafs might be down with Buffalo.

  24. bluesdroogie - Mar 21, 2014 at 10:25 PM

    This post will get some bashing , Its about ovechkin. When you are a star player on a bad team(capitals) your scoring is multiplied because you play in every aspect of the game(cough cough nod to kovalchuk) when you are a star player on a talented team you a just a team player. Crosby is good cause he can just be a team player while still putting up points or he can lead a team when players go down to injury. He has hoisted a cup(ovechkin the 3 time mvp never has)

    take ovechkin out of the caps and put him on say the bruins he would not put up nearly the numbers. he would not be the center of attention. it takes a team to win a cup and Crosby has done so. ovechkin never will when he is the only attraction in Washington. Semin was good but it was only 1 other player.

    I don’t like Crosby, I think he is a wuss. damn talented and helps out a skilled penguins team. mvp, maybe, he does lead the league in points and probably will at the end of the season.

    besides the Bruins I don’t think any team in the east has a chance at the cup. Blues, Ducks, Hawks, Kings, and Sharks, will take any team in the east in a 7 game series. (that was alphabetical not any type of cup winner order)

  25. kastout11 - Mar 24, 2014 at 2:41 PM

    Lets not confuse MVP with the best player in the league. I think everyone would agree that the Penguins would win the Metropolitan division with or without Crosby. For the MVP, you need to look no further than the other end of the state. I don’t think anyone can agrue that the Flyers really started rolling once Giroux was healthy and he got red hot. Although it is still not a certainty that the Flyers will get into the playoffs, even thoug it appears that they will, Philly would be if not the worst, one of the worst teams in the Eastern conference. He is not the best player in the league, but when discussing who the MVP should be, it is Claude Giroux.

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