Out of any award given out in sports, the MVP award for any league is always the most debated. It’s also the one that’s most frequently given out to the wrong guy. For many, it’s an award that should be given out to the league’s best player. If you look at that acronym, though, what’s it stand for? You know just as well as I do; there’s no need in explaining that. According to the official site of the NHL, the Hart Memorial (MVP) Trophy is “given to the player judged to be the most valuable to his team.” Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux may be that guy.
You can say what you want about the stats, but when it comes to this award, all those number are bologna. So, what exactly defines an MVP?
First of all, you have to look at the talent surrounding that guy’s line. When you ask somebody who the second best player on the Pittsburgh Penguins is, they’re going to say Evgeni Malkin, but he plays on the same line as Sidney Crosby. When you ask about the Anaheim Ducks, they’ll tell you Corey Perry. Again, another guy who plays on the same line as Ryan Getzlaf. When you ask about the Flyers, though, chances are they’re going to say Wayne Simmonds. Simmonds, however, isn’t on the same line as Giroux. See where I’m going here? Crosby and Getzlaf play on the same line with other players who could easily be considered their team’s MVP.
Here’s where it gets fun. The Flyers would have lost five games this season is Giroux didn’t score in those respective games. That’s the same number as Getzlaf and only one less than Crosby. However, if the Ducks lost out on those 10 points, they still would have made the playoffs. If the Penguins lost out on those 12 points, they too still would have made the playoffs. The Flyers, however, would have only finished with 84 points and would have missed the playoffs. Need I say more?
Giroux also scored goals in 21 of the Flyers’ wins. That’s five less than Crosby but one more than Getzlaf. However, in the 24 overall games Giroux scored in, 21 were wins. That’s 88 percent and also better than Crosby’s 86 percent and Getzlaf’s 80 percent.
For those of who want to talk goals, go right ahead; but don’t be worried about how many were scored. Focus on when those goals were scored and the implications of them.
The numbers don’t lie. Giroux was just as valuable to his team as Crosby and Getzlaf. Heck, he might be more valuable. If the voting committee goes about distributing this award correctly, don’t be surprised to see Giroux get it.