Foxsports' Jon Rosen analyzes of the Caps:
2010-11 Record: 48-23-11, lost to Tampa Bay (4-0) in Eastern Conference Semi-finals
Additions: Troy Brouwer (F), Jeff Halpern (F), Roman Hamrlik (D), Christian Hanson (F), Ryan Potulny (F), Danny Richmond (D), Tomas Vokoun (G), Joel Ward (F)
Subtractions: Jason Arnott (F), Matt Bradley (F), Eric Fehr (F), Andrew Gordon (F), Body Gordon (F), Marco Sturm (F), Semyon Varlamov (G), Brian Willsie (F)
2011-12 Outlook: The Washington Capitals appeared to be among the most potent offenses in the league's recent history last year, so naturally they morphed into a premier defensive team that boasted one of the league's top penalty kills and faceoff percentages. The offense will look to rebound after several injuries and off years by marquee players, but the defense remains as deep of a unit as there is in the NHL. Youngsters John Carlson and Karl Alzner will reprise the chemistry they developed last year, while ice time-leader Mike Green and veteran free agent-signee Roman Hamrlik will form a dangerous defensive pairing which should improve last year's average power play.
With Jeff Schultz and 40-point defenseman Dennis Wideman perhaps playing as a third-line pairing and Tom Poti battling to earn ice time, this is among the deepest defensive units in the league. The Alexander Semin – Nicklas Backstrom – Alex Ovechkin line slumped at times last year, with all three players producing well under their career averages and expecting to bounce back heavily in 2011-12. Troy Brouwer and Joel Ward joined Washington in the offseason and will provide more healthy options and rugged play to a secondary scoring collection led by Brooks Laich and Mike Knuble, while Jeff Halpern's signing provides another defense-first, versatile forward.
The Capitals boast excellent depth in goal and Tomas Vokoun's $1.5 million, one-year contract should prove to be among one of the league's best values. Michal Neuvirth is among the league's most quality No. 2 goaltenders and posted a 2.45 goals against average in 48 games last year. Braden Holtby was terrific when inserted into the Caps' lineup, but at 22-years old is likely ticketed for the AHL. Even in a down year offensively for the Capitals, they still managed to secure the Eastern Conference's No. 1 overall seed.
Backed by outstanding defense and goaltending and what we expect to be increased production from Ovechkin, Backstrom and Semin, this may be the deepest and most talented squad in Washington's history. Having proved itself in the regular season time and time again, the players, staff and fans are all counting on this Capitals team to finally embark on an extended playoff run.