WINNIPEG, CANADA - MARCH 16: Randy Jones #12 of the Winnipeg Jets trips up Alex Ovechkin #8 of the Washington Capitals in NHL action at the MTS Centre on March 16, 2012 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. (Photo by Marianne Helm/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|
|16||18||Alex Ovechkin is playing his best hockey of the season for the Capitals, and so far in March he has 10 goals, including nine in his past seven games. He's going to finish in the top-five, perhaps even the top-three, and at this point looks like he's going to top the 40-goal mark.|
|17||20||A hugely important bounce-back win over Minnesota on Sunday night after Friday's disappointing overtime loss to Winnipeg at home.|
|17||18||Tomas Vokoun is hoping to return from a groin injury this week; unless he’s at his career best, this isn’t a Caps team that will do any damage in a first-round series. Braden Holtby is coming off a shutout and likely to start in net against Buffalo in Tuesday’s key matchup|
|19||20||Absence of Nicklas Backstrom becomes more glaring as Caps try to hold off streaking Sabres for final Eastern Conference playoff spot.|
|15||19||Alex Ovechkin has picked a good time to get hot -- eight points in his last five games -- as the Caps try to hold on to the eighth playoff spot. You might say they have a big game on Tuesday night against Buffalo. (The Sabres are in ninth.) It will feature two of the NHL's three stars of last week: Ovechkin and Sabres goalie Ryan Miller.|
|20||21||Only two regulation losses in the last 11 games has the Capitals clinging to the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference and they've been paced by a familiar face -- LW Alex Ovechkin, who has 10 goals in those 11 games.
Key Injuries: C Nicklas Backstrom (concussion), G Tomas Vokoun (lower body).
Click on logos for links to full power rankings.