You see this picture of Sidney Crosby sitting in front of the media - facing nauseatingly repetitive questions- for the umpteenth time this postseason? This is the reason that I don't mind him walking away from the Stanley Cup Finals with a playoff MVP award that you can easily argue he didn't deserve. The fact of the matter is that if it were up to me then 'The Kid' would hardly make the podium in terms of value. He would be standing at the bottom - with a bronze meal around his neck - staring up at the the wide eyed innocence of Matt Murray, as well as the 2nd (and probably 3rd) chin of Phil Kessel. While he is still one of the best players in the world, Crosby wasn't nearly as instrumental to the Penguins hoisting Lord Stanley's Cup as their barely legal goaltender or their newly acquired winger that happens to be the doppleganger of every 45 year old father that has given up on life.
That said, those players - as impressive as they were - didn't have to overcome something that every transcendent superstar is faced with every time his team is on the wrong end of a bitter defeat. That something is the undue scrutiny of a room full of media personalities that are ruthlessly in search of the next hot take. Take a quick look back at the articles that circulated following the Penguins Game 5 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Conference Finals. You would have thought that Crosby picked the puck up, threw it through the legs of his goaltender in overtime, and gave his own bench the finger the way he was being journalistically portrayed before his season was even over. I'm surprised the extent to which his leadership was being questioned didn't have Barack Obama offering him an understanding shoulder to lean on.
I know the saying is "to whom much is given much is expected". Well scratch that, flip it, and reverse it, because it works both ways. To whom much is expected much is given when those expectations are met. Do I question whether or not the NHL's decision to give Sidney Crosby the Conn Smythe Trophy parallels the actual spirit of the award? I absolutely do. However, somewhere in between Alexander Ovechkin's rookie season and now we started treated NHL captains like NFL quarterbacks, and that means they get all the praise when their team succeeds. Mostly just because they get all the blame when their team fails.
P.S. Never forget that the person whose accomplishments we are so quick to criticize once dragged this guy's lifeless corpse onto Team Canada...