Crosby, Fleury Should Share Penguins’ MVP Award

Sidney Crosby deserves to be the Pittsburgh Penguins team MVP, and should have strong consideration for league MVP. But remember way back when Crosby and the rest of the team were struggling?

Remember when fans were calling for Crosby to be stripped of his captaincy, while others were lamenting the loss of a potential lottery first-round pick that was sent to Toronto?

Things were bad for the Penguins. But there was one bright spot. The play of Marc-Andre Fleury.

During many games, Fleury’s teammates hung him out to dry. His defense was, at times, almost nonexistent. Night after night, Fleury stood on his head and allowed his team to stay competitive. Today, the Penguins can clinch a playoff spot, an opportunity that they have because of Fleury.

Since the promotion of coach Mike Sullivan, Crosby has been on an epic streak. He may be playing the best hockey of his career, and many are saying that he has grown exponentially as a leader. He does deserve recognition. But consistently from day one, Fleury has been the man, and at the very least, deserves to share the award with Crosby.

Fleury is The Players’ Player

I recently wrote an article discussing Fleury’s likely departure from the Penguins, sooner than later. The intention of this article was to praise what The Flower has done, and continues to do in Pittsburgh.

The Quebec native recently won the Penguins Players’s Player Award. In many ways, he is the heart and soul of his team.

I am not intending this to be negative towards Crosby. He is the face of the team and the NHL. He is playing out of his mind right now and deserves the award (a solid case can be made for Kris Letang, as well). This is not a knock against them, but rather a recognition of Fleury and what he has done for the 2015-16 Penguins.

Fleury recently became only the fourth goalie in NHL history to record seven 35-win seasons. In this author’s opinion, he is having a Hall of Fame career, but quality arguments could be made to the contrary. However, we are discussing just this season, and it has been an outstanding one.

Bad news has struck, though. It’s been announced that Fleury has a concussion and will be out for an undetermined amount of time. What a blow to the Penguins. Hopefully for his sake, and the team’s, he will not be out long.

The Penguins are close to the playoffs. Take away the games that Fleury won for them early on and see how the standings look. For one player to have such an impact is pretty valuable.

Maybe the most valuable.

Until next time.