A thread on the Caps message board pointed to an interesting post on the Behindthenet Blog regarding the cost, points-wise, of losing top players.
Basically, over the past five seasons, teams have lost 3.07 standings points per 82 games for every ~19 minute forward and 8.44 standings points per 82 games for every ~21 minute defenseman missing from the lineup.
It just so happens that the Caps have a few players out of their current lineup who fit the bill, so let's see what these injuries have cost the team:
In other words, the Caps have likely lost more than two points in the standings already due to the injuries to these three players alone (and this doesn't even include 20-minute man Jeff Schultz or 18.5 minute guy Sergei Fedorov's absences).
Put another way, for each game this trio misses, the Caps lose nearly a quarter of a point in the standings - tonight's win over the Islanders, then, really only netted the Caps 1.75 points.
Obviously, actual mileage may vary here, but one thing is pretty clear - as the injuries pile up, so do the lost points, and while the Caps may get those players back at some point (hopefully soon), those points are lost forever.