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.”