WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 10: Jason Chimera #25 of the Washington Capitals celebrates with Joel Ward #42 after scoring in the third period against the Tampa Bay Lightning at the Verizon Center on October 10, 2011 in Washington, DC. The goal was Chimera's 100th career goal. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
Our weekly temperature-taking of the mainstream media's opinions on the Washington Capitals begins anew, with the Caps still radiating that "new-season smell." A (very) few outlets did their rankings last week, and mostly they had the Caps at #3, behind the defending Stanley Cup and Western Conference champions.
|Outlet||This Week||Last Week||What They're Saying|
|4||1||It wasn't pretty, but they got the job done. The Caps needed more than 60 minutes in each of their opening two matches, but slugged out victories in OT and SO. Tomas Vokoun had a worse opening night than "Gigli", giving up five goals, but was huge in OT penalty kill vs. the Lightning. Good start for "America's Hockey Capital."|
|6||3||Ah, yes, the first goaltender controversy of the season. That is, If you want to actually call it a controversy. Michal Neuvirth picked up the win during Washington's season opener thanks to Mike Green's game-winning goal in overtime. Tomas Vokoun will make his Capitals debut when they take on the Tampa Bay Lightning in the second game of the season. Get used to that rotation, because both of these goalies will be playing quite a bit this season.|
|4||-||This could be the year for Bruce Boudreau and the Caps. You heard it here second, third or sixth depending on what else you read.|
|6||3||The challenge for coach Bruce Boudreau is to get his players focused on the here and now when all the team really wants is to start the playoffs and get a shot at redemption.|
|3||-||Michal Neuvirth backstopped the Caps to an opening night win against Carolina before the team prepares for a pair of rivalry games against Tampa Bay (home) and Pittsburgh (away) this week.|
|6||-||Jason Chimera leads unbeaten Caps with three goals; Ovechkin has just one assist|
|-||3||Under-the-radar summer moves bolstered a team that expects more from Alex Ovechkin than last year’s "disappointing" 85-point total.|
|6||6||Not only did the Capitals make moves to address their depth, adding Joel Ward, Troy Brouwer, Jeff Halpern and Roman Hamrlik, but then they practically stumbled into G Tomas Vokoun, who gives Washington a proven puck-stopper which might be enough to get them over the hump in the postseason. Key Injuries: D Tom Poti (groin).|
Click on logos for links to full power rankings; Additional outlets to be added as they trickle in.