#1 The motivation of win-now mode
We all know Alex Ovechkin is not getting any younger and the sad truth is all these guys are starting to grow up. Ovechkin is the second oldest player on the team behind Ilya Kovalchuk. The team boasts eight players that are 30 or up.
Having that veteran presence will only help a team that has been here before and tasted victory just two short years ago. You’ve got Ovechkin and Backstrom. You’ve got T.J. Oshie who’s shined on both the NHL and Olympic stage. You got Carl Hagelin who’s won two Stanley Cups with your biggest rival now on your side. You’ve got John Carlson, who seems to get better every year and has a strong chance to win the Norris Trophy.
Other impact players you can watch that are veterans include Lars Eller, who scored the most important goal in Caps playoff history and Braden Holtby who made the greatest save of all-time. The youngest players on the team are Ilya Samsonov and Jonas Siegenthaler at 22 years old. You’ll likely see Samsonov in one of the Round Robin games while Siegenthaler will likely play on the third pairing.
A long rest for the defense, experience, and the motivation of winning now are the recipies for a successful playoff run.