Sidney Crosby, Dan Bylsma

Bylsma: ‘No question’ Crosby should win MVP


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.”

Jason Demers tweets #FreeTorres, gets mocked

Los Angeles Kings v San Jose Sharks - Game One

Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.

We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.

It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”

Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)

Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.

So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”

… You get the idea.

The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.

The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.

Bruins list Chara on IR, for now

Zdeno Chara

Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.

It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.

The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.

As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.

Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?

The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.

This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.