To make the team, a player must show something beyond the stat sheet. Similar to TSN broadcaster Pierre McGuire's annual “Monsters Team,” the Prime Cuts squad is chalk-full of intangibles such as heart, determination, hockey IQ, two-way play, grit, and clutch scoring ability. Most of the players on this squad are also under appreciated (in both fantasy and real hockey circles). There are obviously some big stars on this team – the usual suspects – but there are also some under-the-radar players who you may not have noticed this season.
The Top Pairing: Mike Green and Zdeno Chara
Mike Green makes his second annual appearance on the Prime Cuts roster, after making the club on the second pairing in 2007-2008. This season, Green has picked up right where he left off, and is going to finish the season over a point-per-game, absolutely unheard of for a defenseman. He is on pace to hit 30 goals as well, which would make him the first defenseman since Kevin Hatcher netted 34 goals in 1992-1993 (also with the Capitals). Green skates like Paul Coffey and shoots the puck like Ray Bourque (although he doesn't defend like Bourque). I don't buy the argument that he wouldn't produce this well on another team. Green is an extremely dynamic skater who scores goals and creates plays out of nothing. He obviously benefits from playing with the likes of Alex Ovechkin, but that benefit is mutual. Green takes chances, plays an aggressive style, fitting Bruce Boudreau's system like a glove. It will be interesting to see if Green can hit 40 goals at some point in his career – he certaintly gets enough chances to approach that mark at least once. Ever since Boudreau was appointed head coach last season in late December, Green has an astounding 106 points in 102 games.
Green's partner on the top pairing is the highly-paid, highly-standing, highly-underrated Zdeno Chara. Chara scores goals (currently has 16),