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Two consecutive years atop the Eastern Conference Standings, but nothing more to show for it than a President's Trophy and a series victory against the eighth-seeded New York Rangers.
Much like the San Jose Sharks in the west, the Capitals are a team with a recent history of regular season dominance followed by playoff disappointment.
Among the roster moves this offseason were watching Jason Arnott and Marco Sturm leave to different teams.
Arnott scored 13 points in 20 games over the regular season and playoffs, whereas Sturm contributed 10 points in 27 total games for Washington.
Brouwer and Ward are younger alternates who should contribute similar productivity.
Veteran Roman Hamrlik should contribute more than 30 points from the defensive position.
While changes among skaters may have improved the lineup slightly, the biggest moves made were in the crease.
Semyon Varlamov was sent to Colorado for draft picks, and the Capitals signed free agent Tomas Vokoun. Vokoun was regarded as the second best goaltender on the free agent market after Ilya Bryzgalov. Vokoun has put up impressive numbers for years despite playing behind a lackluster Florida Panthers organization.
Vokoun will join Michal Neuvirth in Washington's goaltending situation.
Will acquiring the 35-year-old be the move that gets the Caps to the next level?