From the time coach Bruce Boudreau arrived in November 2008 until the 2010 playoffs, the Washington Capitals wowed with their offense while at times the defense and goaltending proved less than satisfactory.
In two of the past three postseasons, offense has become the problem for Washington. First it was goalie Jaroslav Halak and the Montreal Canadiens' penalty-killers in 2010, then it was a wide-range of issues from player performance to team philosophy with new coach Dale Hunter in 2012, but as the Capitals’ ability to prevent goals has improved, they have struggled to score enough when it counts.
Much of the intrigue with the 2012-13 Capitals again, almost strangely, revolves around offense. Goalie Braden Holtby had a great postseason, and though both are still young, he and Michal Neuvirth should be a solid tandem. The defense could be better at helping the goalies in their own end with the subtraction of Dennis Wideman, the addition of Jack Hillen, and a return to regular playing time for Dmitry Orlov.
That leaves the offense, which is far from the certainty it once was in Washington, to dominate the six questions facing the Capitals entering this season.