23 April, 2014

Misguided Mike Strikes Again

Another day, another post about who should win the Hart. Mike Brophy, THN columnist, treated us to his completely original ruminations that featured suggestions like this:

I will say, though, I have narrowed it down to four candidates — goalies Martin Brodeur of the New Jersey Devils and Roberto Luongo of the Vancouver Canucks, left winger Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals and right winger Jarome Iginla of the Calgary Flames.

All fair choices. However, he follows up with this:

I firmly believe, had Sidney Crosby not missed so much action with that high ankle sprain, he would have repeated as the Hart winner. Oh well.

It’s the Sidney Crosby machine at its finest. Any shred of credibility that Brophy may have had went out the window with that statement. Does he understand the whole point of the Hart trophy? Yes, Crosby is an asset to his team. However, it’s not like the team fell apart in Crosby’s absence; if anything, they improved and now sit fourth in the Eastern Conference. Brophy does make this concession in regards to Ovechkin:Hart Trophy- NHL.com

And if the award were for the best player this season, he’d win it hands-down. Voters are supposed to reward “The player adjudged to be most valuable to his team.” Has anybody been more valuable to his team than Ovechkin?

No argument there. But that’s not good enough for Brophy. He proceeds to throw out Iginla’s statistics; while impressive, they don’t match Ovechkin’s. Then he puts down the Canucks and the Devils’ defense in order to make his point for Luongo and Brodeur. No one is suggesting that those players aren’t worthy of consideration, but shouldn’t the candidates be presented in a more positive fashion than “without them, the team would be gunning for a lottery draft pick and not a playoff spot?”
But that’s all right. Brophy is still looking for a winner:

With a few weeks to go, the Hart Trophy is still wide open from my perspective. So wide open, in fact, Daniel Alfredsson might sneak into the pack with a strong finish.

Alfie definitely is valuable to his team, but this suggestion goes against his logic for the other candidates (except for Brodeur and possibly Iginla). Ottawa is a team who went through much of the season in the number one spot in the conference, but they’re now in a bit of a decline. Yet, according to Brophy’s logic, because the Sens are going to the playoffs, a player like Alfredsson would be a good candidate.

I’m not the only one who feels this way about him- other bloggers don’t quite worship at the Church of Brophy. The Battle of Alberta said this about him last year:

Note to print, television and internet editors everywhere: hire about five to ten of us, give us some money and support, and we’ll put out a product a hundred times greater than the boring, illogical and demeaning junk being put out by Mike Brophy and others of his ilk.

DMG of Caps Blue Line felt similarly about Brophy:

Mike Brophy is becoming my favorite hockey writer. Because he’s so damn easy to mock.

The compliments go on and on. You also have to wonder about a guy who allegedly champions convicted child molesters, but that’s neither here nor there. That’s Mike Brophy, mental genius.


  1. J.P. wrote:

    More fuel for the fire – check out Brophy’s first list of Hart candidates from yesterday morning: http://www.thehockeynews.com/articles/14381-Flames-Watch-Feeling-good-for-Iggy.html

    18 March, 2008 at 7:34 am | Permalink
  2. WFY wrote:

    So, none of those four players are as good as someone who got injured going into the boards skate-blade first?

    18 March, 2008 at 8:13 am | Permalink
  3. hockeygrl76 wrote:

    What gets me about the whole Crosby situation is the fact that the media is obviously overlooking one important fact. Once Crosby was injured and out of the picture Malkins stats went way up and he was begining to look a lot like Crosby (in his contributions to the team). That leads me to believe that while Crosby may be good he’s also surrounded by a good TEAM which helps his stats….shouldn’t the Pens be looked at as having a good supporting cast for Crosby instead of it being a Crosby only show? I wonder how affective Crosby would have been on a rebuilding team like the Capitals…probably not a candidate for any award.

    18 March, 2008 at 9:12 am | Permalink
  4. ThunderWeenie wrote:

    Brohpy’s article wouldn’t open, for some reason, but I’ll check it out later.
    The Hart Trophy is always such a tough call. No matter who you choose, there’s always someone who can credibly say that you got it wrong.
    I think we need to remember, though, that the trophy is not for the league’s highest scorer or best all-around player, but the league’s most valuable player–in other words, the player who made the greatest contribution to his team. With that in mind, I fully agree that Crosby should not be this year’s Hart winner. As outstanding a player as he genuinely is, he is on a team that is stacked with talent, and that talent stepped up in a big way when needed. Its not a knock against Sid to say that we should be looking elsewhere for the MVP.
    Ovechkin is a prime candidate, of course–not because he’s a goal machine and a hell of a hard worker, but because the team clearly would not be the same without him. Does anyone on this blog disagree with that assessment? I doubt it.
    However…the reason why Ovechkin is not a shoo-in is that you could say the same about several other players. Brodeur is a name that leaps to mind–is NJ the same team without that Great Wall of Stone in net? Nope, not on your life. They’re good without him, but not dominant, and I don’t think you’d find a single person in Joisey who would disagree.
    And, sorry, but I think Brophy with respect to Daniel Alfredsson. By way of full disclosure, I’m a huge Ottawa fan, but I’ll set aside my partisan loyalties for a second. That team is clearly not the same without Alfie, a point made very eloquently by Darren Dreger last week (http://www.tsn.ca/tsn_talent/columnists/darren_dreger/?ID=231510). Ottawa is 1-8 without Alfredsson in the lineup this year, and while his injuries are not the main reason why Ottawa has been so God-awful since January, his absence clearly hurts the team.
    Now, should that be the standard–the team falls to pieces without you? No, not necessarily. But if a given player’s contribution is that obvious, he has to be worthy of consideration.
    Anyhow–just my $0.02 worth. Thanks for indulging my long rambles one again. :-)

    18 March, 2008 at 9:48 am | Permalink
  5. Kim wrote:

    I agree with hockeygrl76. I think Sid is talented, don’t get me wrong, but I just don’t think he is God’s only gift to the NHL.
    I think it is ironic that Crosby was mentioned at all for the Hart. I still wonder if Sid’s recent ankle flare up is because we banged him up, or if in reality he was rushed back too soon because Malkin was stealing the show. I know smacks a little of conspiracy theory, but… Could the NHL really stand it if two of the front runners for the Hart were Russian?
    I also know that this could be up for debate, but have a little trouble with the whole idea of players only getting awards if their teams make the playoffs. I have to again wonder if the Pens were in the same position last year as we are today if Sid would have been written off for the Hart.
    Okay, I have to stop watching all of those Jason Bourne movies.

    18 March, 2008 at 9:48 am | Permalink
  6. ThunderWeenie wrote:

    Meant to say “Brophy is right with respect to Alfredsson”. My bad for the typo.

    18 March, 2008 at 9:51 am | Permalink
  7. hotdog88gt wrote:

    Sports reporters are all biased in some way. Everyone wants their guy to win. Just take the top points getter and give it to him.
    Malkin will most likely surpass AO if Sid is out for the rest of the season, but was he MVP for the Pens during Sid’s absence or was Conkblock?
    And so on and so forth…everyone wants their guy to win.

    18 March, 2008 at 10:20 am | Permalink
  8. ThunderWeenie wrote:

    Its not as simple as getting the most points. That’s one way to be valuable to your team, no doubt about it, but not the only way. For starters, considering only point-getters totally excludes goalies…who, um, yeah, are a pretty critical element of the team.
    The whole point of an MVP award is to consider more than just goal or point toals or win-loss ratios or GAAs. Its meant to assess leadership as much as anything, and how a given team’s leader (official or unofficial) stacks up against others.
    That’s tough to do, sure, because there’s no stat that measures it with 100% accuracy, but you can’t deny that leadership is as much a part of the game as bunching the twine is.

    18 March, 2008 at 10:33 am | Permalink
  9. JR wrote:

    Why Not Malkin? LOL. Are Penguins fans the most massive of tools or what? It’s pretty obvious that Malkin is getting Crosby’s points now. I don’t recall Malkin being MVP worthy when Crosby was leading the league. Regardless, heads too far up collective asses to even contemplate life without those two. Where is Malkin going to sign in a couple years, anyway?

    18 March, 2008 at 10:56 am | Permalink
  10. ThunderWeenie wrote:

    I wouldn’t have put it in quite those colourful words, JR, but I agree with the sentiment. Malkin, to my mind, is now a more viable Hart candidate that Crosby because of the way he stepped on the gas during Sid’s absence.

    18 March, 2008 at 12:12 pm | Permalink
  11. NS2NOVA wrote:

    DCSC: This article sounds very familiar, wonder where I read it before? :) Just kidding, you’ve done a much better job than I could ever have. Great post.
    And just to add insult to injury (pardon the pun) I think there is a case to be made that Sid could well be an anchor holding the Pens back from being the successful team that the appear to be. Stats for everyone goes up when he’s not playing, team surges in the standings. Sid the Albatros.

    18 March, 2008 at 12:31 pm | Permalink
  12. hotdog88gt wrote:

    Keep the Conn Smythe (whoops, another MVP trophy!) and Stanley Cup and melt all the others down and make something nice.

    18 March, 2008 at 1:03 pm | Permalink
  13. ThunderWeenie wrote:

    Maybe, but maybe we also need to give Malkin and the rest of the Pittsburgh squad some credit. They knew that they were under the gun, and did what they needed to do during a less-than-ideal period.
    It does clearly show, though, that the Pens are not a one-trick pony. Like it or not (and I know a lot of people on this board won’t like it), the Pens look like they’re for real.

    18 March, 2008 at 1:05 pm | Permalink
  14. hockeygrl76 wrote:

    ThunderWeenie- That’s my whole point. It’s not Crosby carrying the team it’s their team as a whole. No one will deny they are a really great team, I think most of us are just bitter b/c of all the attention Crosby gets when others on the team and in the league deserve a little recognition. Besides that I don’t know about anyone else but I’m bitter towards the Pens b/c their fans come here and act like a bunch of jerks (not really the word I wanted to use)….

    18 March, 2008 at 2:27 pm | Permalink
  15. ThunderWeenie wrote:

    That’s the nature of the “new” NHL–its all driven by the guys in suits from the marketing department. Those guys in suits find it much easier to market a star personality than to market the game. Hence, the over-exposure of Crosby.
    The job of the hockey writers when it comes to determining who gets the Hart trophy is to look past the marketing bumph and figure out who has really contributed to a team in a substantive way. Sometimes those writers do their job well and other times….meh…..

    18 March, 2008 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

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