Easier said than done, of course. No one is going to hand the Caps a top-level player. Can they afford to sign one? Can they put together enough of a package to trade for one, even if it might cost them someone like Braden Holtby? If they can get one, they need to make sure they do it.
After a victory late in the regular season that included two goals by Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom was asked if it felt like the "good old days" when the franchise cornerstones powered a high-scoring team. "It depends how it is in the playoffs," he said. "And we weren't that successful in the playoffs in the past."
George McPhee had conversations, but the NHL draft wasn't quite the trade bonanza many expected. Jordan Staal joined his brother with the Carolina Hurricanes, and naturally the Washington Capitals weren't consulted by the rival Pittsburgh Penguins.
The Washington Capitals have lacked a second-line center since the departure of Sergei Fedorov three long years ago. Mathieu Perreault, Brooks Laich, Marcus Johansson, Jason Arnott, Tomas Fleischmann and Brendan Morrison were part of the rotating tryout process.
By standing pat at the trade deadline, Capitals general manager George McPhee basically is saying to the team, "Show me what you've got."
Olie Kolzig gave a brutally honest read on ex-Washington Capitals teammate Alex Ovechkin on Wednesday, stepping so far outside the politically correct box the team is usually contained within.
Mike Knuble defies the traditional laws of hockey. Players aren't supposed to score 20 goals in a season for the first time at age 30 and then do it eight more times.
Brooks Laich likes to skate with Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Brett Clark in the summertime and learn the position --- just in case the Washington Capitals ever need him to slide back to the blue line.