Alex Ovechkin --
He scores huge goals, and lots of them. He celebrates like a kid who just beat his older brother in anything for the first time. He is fresh. He is new. He is exciting. Really, Ovechkin is everything you'd want and more from your favorite hockey player. And now he gets to put it all together on the biggest stage in hockey. He's ready.
Nicklas Backstrom --
For as good as Ovechkin has been, someone has to get him the puck. Backstrom, the Capitals' rookie center, has done his job as well as anyone in the NHL over the past four months. Backstrom has a keen eye on the ice, and knows his No. 1 priority is to get the puck to “Ovie,” which is why this duo works very well.
Alexander Semin --
It should come as no surprise that Washington started to turn its season around right at the time Semin got healthy in November. He was the Caps' second-leading goal scorer this season and meshed well on the second line with Sergei Fedorov
and Matt Cooke
. When this line also has it going, the Caps are insanely tough to beat.
Danny Briere --
A solid contributor all season, Briere turned in a 30-plus goal season. However, his past postseason success is really what matters to the Flyers now. Briere is nearly a point-per-game player in the playoffs with 37 points in 40 postseason games. Plus, he played into the Eastern Conference Finals the last two seasons with Buffalo.
Mike Richards --
One of a handful of Flyers making their postseason debuts, Richards should be one of the top two-way forwards in the tournament. He registered more than 70 points this season and posted an exceptional plus-minus rating. He led all Flyers forwards in ice-time per game, including effective minutes on both the power-play and PK units.
Kimmo Timonen --
It would have also been easy to pick his defensive partner, the speedy Braydon Coburn
, but we went with the All-Star who has been to the playoffs three previous times. This is Coburn's first time in the tournament. Timonen is a solid puck-moving defenseman, a factor on special teams, and the Flyers' ice-time leader.