As the NHL's trade deadline passed on Feb. 27, General Manager George McPhee stood pat. While he explained the reasoning behind keeping the roster he assembled last summer intact, McPhee also gave the group a vote of confidence in stating that the Capitals were not to be underestimated when Nicklas Backstrom returned to the lineup.

"If Nicky Backstrom came back, it certainly would improve our chances of being able to win a Cup," McPhee said on Feb. 27. "We can make the playoffs with this team. And if he comes back, we can beat anybody in this conference."