Courtesy of Hertz

Drive to the Net: How do you ignore the MVP?


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Taylor Hall celebrates his winning goal at the Devils' bench Tuesday in Newark. - MATT SUNDAY / DKPS

NEWARK, N.J. -- Kris Letang was right. He was doing his job.

Mike Sullivan also was right. The two guys behind Letang weren't doing theirs.

And yet, the end result was so very, very wrong. Because the Penguins -- all of them, including Letang and even Sullivan in his own way -- allowed the Devils to beat them, 4-2, on a tiebreaking, third-period breakaway goal by the one player everyone knew had the best chance to do exactly that kind of damage: Taylor Hall.

You know, the super-fast, super-skilled kid who almost singlehandedly carried his team to a surprising playoff berth.

The one who was awarded the Hart Trophy -- getting my vote, too -- as the NHL's most valuable player for that reason alone.

The one who can casually do stuff like this:

That was at 8:07 of the third, and it put the Devils up for good, 3-2. And so much of what occurs is so bad it's hard to know where to start.

So let's try to take it in order ...

It's an offensive-zone faceoff, so Sullivan sends out the trio he's been deploying the past couple games in such situations: Crosby between Jake Guentzel and Phil Kessel. Nothing wrong with that. It's solid strategy, especially on the road, where the home team's coach can counter with the last change.

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