This debate would have seemed silly a month ago -- maybe even a few weeks ago. But now? It's legitimate. With less than two weeks remaining in the NHL season, it's worth asking: Does Sidney Crosby still deserve to be the MVP?

Or is, for example, Alex Ovechkin a better candidate?

Crosby was the runaway player of the year before breaking his jaw March 30. He's a major reason the Penguins built such a huge lead in becoming the team to beat this season. Yes, the Penguins are 4-2 without him and remain dangerous. But Crosby's performance was fantastic. Besides, he still will have played approximately 75 percent of the Penguins' games.

However, you can make a strong case that the Islanders' John Tavares, the Blackhawks' Jonathan Toews or Ovechkin has been more valuable to his team.

If the award goes to the best player, Crosby deserves to win. If it's truly to the most valuable, his absence has enabled others to make a strong case.

- John Keim