Is Crosby the MVP if you have Malkin to pick up the slack?
It's as I always say; you can be the MVP on a good team or a bad team. It's a matter of how much success you individually are DIRECTLY responsible for.
It's why I argue that, if you have two identical players with identical seasons, and one is on the President's trophy winner while the other is on a team that barely makes the playoffs, the latter should always be higher in MVP voting. Always. Because removing him has a greater impact on his team.
However, this does not preclude a player on a good team from winning MVP; he simply must be "enough better" than players on weaker teams that he has such an impact to the point where removing him from the team would have a greater impact. It's why I argue that Gretzky's Hart in 1989 was a poor award (Nicholls played on a different line at ES and finished fourth in ES points, scored only 18 fewer than Gretzky total; LA was the deepest team of LA/Detroit/Pittsburgh).
Chicago is a good team, but rather topheavy. They are not unlike Detroit in that regard. And although Kane's scoring gained much of the hype on HF, Toews was their MVP. Was he more valuable to Chicago than Datsyuk was to Detroit? It's hard to say. Detroit has Zetterberg, Datsyuk, and Howard carrying the load all year. Chicago has Toews, Kane, Hossa, Keith, Seabrook, Crawford, and half a season of Sharp. So I'd argue Toews was less individually important to his team. I don't know that I can say Datsyuk is the most valuable player, though. Zetterberg was equally, if not more valuable to Detroit through most of the season; especially at key points when it mattered most.
But were any of Toews, Kane, Keith, Datsyuk, Zetterberg, or Howard more valuable than Tavares? Ovechkin? Bobrovsky? Karlsson? Or Crosby for that matter? The problem on both the Wings and Hawks is that of all of the teams in the league, they are among the most vague as far as MVP selection goes. Tampa Bay is obviously in that range as well, and you can definitely include Boston. The great players on these teams won't be winning Harts because they have enough trouble establishing a case that they are, in fact, the MVP on their own team. Whereas a player like Tavares, clearly a lesser player than any of the other centers I've mentioned, is far and away the best and most important player the Islanders have; arguably more worthy of MVP-hood due to his massive level of importance to his club.