Power Rankings Roundup: Week 18

MONTREAL, CANADA - FEBRUARY 4: Matt Hendricks #26 of the Washington Capitals celebrates his third period goal with teammates during the NHL game against the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre on February 4, 2012 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The Capitals defeated the Canadiens 3-0. (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)

Our weekly temperature-taking of the mainstream media's opinions on the Washington Capitals.

Outlet This Week Last Week What They're Saying
- 13 Pending.
- 12 One of the other stupid controversies from last week: Alex Ovechkin and the NHL All-Star game. Whether you agree with his decision to back out of the game or not, the fact remains that no matter what he did people were going to find a way to complain about it.
14 14 The Capitals continue to stutter-step their way through the schedule, as they lost 4-1 to Boston on Sunday and still find themselves hovering around the playoff bubble one point back of Florida for the Southeast Division lead.
14 15 Brooks Laich was tangled up on a hit by Dennis Seidenberg and will be re-evaluated Monday. There’s still no update on Nicklas Backstrom, who remains out with a concussion.
14 11 Caps have just one shorthanded goal all season
- 12 Thanks to a 5-2-1 run to the break, the Capitals have taken the lead in the Southeast away from the Panthers. Is it inevitable that they run away with the division now?
17 15
Despite turmoil and a bunch of injuries (valuable forward Brooks Laich suffered a knee injury on Sunday and may be out a while), the Caps can move from ninth to third in the East with a victory over Florida on Tuesday night. We're very tentatively hitching a wagon to their Southeast title drive.
24 17 How far has Alex Ovechkin fallen? He has three points in his last 10 games and hasn't been able to overtake Nicklas Backstrom in the Capitals' scoring race even though Backstrom hasn't played since January 3.
Key Injuries: C Nicklas Backstrom (concussion), D Mike Green (groin), C Brooks Laich (knee).

Click on logos for links to full power rankings.

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