Beginning today, CSNWashington.com Capitals Insider Chuck Gormley will evaluate the 2014-15 performance of each player on the Caps roster. One breakdown will occur every day in alphabetical order. Today: Karl Alzner
Age: 26 [turns 27 Sept. 24]
Ht/Wt: 6-3, 217
Penalty minutes: 20
Average Ice Time: 19:25
Contract Status: 2 years remaining on 4-year, $11.2 million contract [$2.8 million cap hit]
Strengths: Few defensemen in the NHL are as reliable as Alzner, who has played in every game for the Caps for the past five seasons [376 games] and currently ranks behind only Bobby Carpenter  and teammate John Carlson  in consecutive games played by a Capital. Playing alongside two-way veteran Matt Niskanen, Alzner reinvented himself as an offensive threat, recording a career-high five goals and 21 points in the regular season and another two goals and two assists in the playoffs.
Room for improvement: While he plays strong positional hockey, Alzner lacks the mean streak or hitting ability that would make him even more difficult to play against. Alzner also possesses a heavy shot that he simply doesn’t use enough. After a career-high 95 shots under Adam Oates and Calle Johansson last season, Alzner recorded 72 shots this season and scored on five of them.
Memorable Moment: Teaming up with teammate Eric Fehr to come up with the Honest Abe top hat and beard was pretty cool and so was wearing sunglasses at the 2015 Winter Classic, but Alzner’s goal midway through the second period of Game 5 against the Islanders stood up as the game-winner and helped the Caps win a pivotal game in the seven-game series.
Quotable: “It’s a weird feeling actually seeing a human come out and the way it comes out. They just kind of manhandle it. It’s pretty crazy. It’s the most emotion I’ve ever felt in my life.” -- Alzner on the Dec. 10 birth of his first child, a baby girl named Stella Raay
2015-16 Expectations: Alzner and Carlson will look to become the Caps’ top two iron men in their pursuit of six straight seasons without missing a game. With some summer work on his one-timer and another year under Todd Rierden, Alzner has the potential to exceed his career highs in goals and points without sacrificing his defensive strengths.