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Power Rankings Roundup: Week 6

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

Outlet This Week Last Week What They're Saying
4 1 The Caps are in a bit of a pickle. They have three key defencemen (Mike Green, John Erskine and Roman Hamrlik) who are all fighting the injury bug. That's forced them to go with the old road hockey strategy of moving a forward back (Brooks Laich). And, help may not be on the way via trade, as Washington is up against the salary cap. The Caps begin a three-game road trip.
3 1 When the Capitals signed Brooks Laich to a six-year, $27 million contract they probably weren't anticipating him having to play defense, as he did on Saturday night. Depleted by injuries on their blue line over the weekend, the veteran forward logged over 23 minutes on defense during a 3-2 shootout loss to the New Jersey Devils. He blocked four shots and was not on the ice for either of the Devils' two goals. Solid night.
- 1 Pending
6 1 There has been a bit of a ripple for the previously red-hot Caps, as they have just one win in their past four outings. They blew a 2-0 lead en route to a shootout loss against New Jersey at home Saturday. Still, the Caps have allowed just one power-play goal in the past five games.
4 1 The Caps have been outscored 12-7 in 5-on-5 play over their last four games. Blowing a two-goal lead against New Jersey won’t sit well with the team as it hits the road for three games.
3 2 Caps have dropped three of past four games, but schedule-maker is nicer this week with road games against Preds, Jets, Leafs
5 1 "The Sopranos" -- Quality, long-running, although it's lacking the punch and flair it had at the beginning. Will Bruce Boudreau get whacked at season's end?
6 2 In his first game back from an ankle injury, key defenseman Mike Green hurt his groin Friday and looks to be out at least a week, probably more. "You miss his speed most of all," assistant coach Bob Woods told The Washington Post. "He can skate with anybody in the league, and when we play faster teams, quicker teams, he's a guy that's a threat. Not having that there is an advantage for opponents." We were already a bit suspicious of the depth on the blueline, so Alex Ovechkin may have to carry the Caps for a while.
4 2 Struggled to generate offence in their weekend split with the Devils, registering a total of 37 shots on goal in two games against New Jersey, going 0-for-9 with the man advantage.
Key Injuries: D Mike Green (lower body).

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