My analysis would be that the Caps couldn't care less about the regular season any more. Having success in it and losing badly in the playoffs made them hate the season games. They still like some good wins, and see how they played the Winter Classic. Ovie loved it. But since then, they've been back to boredom. They're just waiting for April.
They will let themselves fall, then they'll try to wake up (it took long last time). They became good again for a while, defending much better, but they decided to go on vacation again. They will eventually be great again, and in the playoffs, they'll give all they have. Well, I hope, at least.