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Capitals Power Rankings Roundup: Week 7

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

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Outlet This Week Last Week What They're Saying
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4 5 Big picture

TIt was a mixed-bag kind of week for the Caps, who took three of a possible six points. It was a disappointment to only get one point at home against struggling Calgary Friday night. Those are the kinds of games you have to take care of at home to secure a nice, home-ice advantage series for the first round of the playoffs.

Still, things are positive overall here. They get a few days off until their next game, Wednesday at home against Detroit. No doubt they'll want to avenge a 1-0 loss to the Wings last week in Detroit.

By the numbers

A little more out of depth center Brooks Laich would help the cause. A one-time regular 20-goal scorer, Laich had just one goal in his first 16 games, with one assist. Laich's offensive numbers have been on the decline some in recent years, and offense isn't what the Caps are expecting out of him first and foremost.

But one goal every 16 games isn't going to cut it either. Otherwise, it puts too much pressure on the top two lines to score every night.  (November 15)
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4 3 The Caps have tailed off just a bit in recent weeks as Alex Ovechkin is suddenly struggling to find the back of the net. The Caps finally decided to reunite him with Nicklas Backstrom to see if they can get Ovi off the schneid. (November 17)
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7 6 The Caps have given up the first goal in seven-straight games. While that's a concern, they also have a record of 4-2-1 in those seven showing they're still good enough to win despite their slow starts. (November 16)
5 4 The Capitals have been outshot in a game just three times out of 16 games. That's a pretty good recipe for success. (November 16)
5 4 What has been the problem for the Capitals? They might be overthinking things, especially all-world scorer Alexander Ovechkin. He’s been gunning for the all-time leading goal scorer among Russian-born players record for the last three games. Barry Trotz admitted it looks like Ovechkin is feeling the pressure. But they still squeezed out three points in three games. (November 16)
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9 4 Braden Holtby will have had five days between starts, which Mike Vogel of washingtoncaps.com points out is not a great thing, saying Holtby’s numbers are far superior when he’s more busy. (November 16)
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5 5 Washington ranks inside the top seven in goals scored per game, goals against per game and both power play and penalty kill percentage. That’s the sign of a well-balanced team. (November 19)
5 5 What's good: Evgeny Kuznetsov gives everyone constant reminders of how special he is and how much better he can get..

What's not so good: Entering Thursday, the Capitals had given up the first goal in 10 of their first 17 games.

Braden Holtby talks about facing more shots on goal in Kevin Woodley's Unmasked this week. (November 20)
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5 5 This is the Capitals team in the Alex Ovechkin era with the best shot at a Stanley Cup. (November 18)
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7 5 Hard not to focus on Alex Ovechkin—especially when he’s launching a career-high 15 shots as he did Tuesday night against Detroit—but if you’re watching the Caps, spare a few moments for No. 92. Evgeny Kuznetsov hasn’t simply been brilliant. He’s been consistent, a quality that eluded him last season. He’s also been dynamite away from the Verizon Center, ranking second in both assists (3.56) and points (4.75) per 60 minutes played on the road. Last week: 1-1-0 (November 17)
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1 2 3.06 GF, 2.31 GA, 22.4 PP%, 84.8 PK%, 54.4 CF%, 100.12 PDO (November 16)
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6 5 [Haiku edition]

"Mister Game Seven"?

More like "Mister Games One Through

Eighty-Two," right, Caps?

(November 19)
5 3 Mild stumbling, with one regulation win in the past four games, but nothing to seriously worry about. The Capitals also have some players, like C Evgeny Kuznetsov and D John Carlson, that appear to be taking a step forward in their development which bodes well for the long term.

Key Injuries: D Brooks Orpik (lower body). (November 16)
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2 3 The Washington Capitals look just as talented and good as everyone expected them to be, as the incredible offensive talent on the team is complimented by strong defensive play, and quality goaltending. Evgeny Kuznetsov is showcasing the talent level that made him one of the most hyped players to come over from Russia in the past decade, as he’s averaging over a point per game this season.

As we said last week, no team in the East looks good enough to beat the Capitals (outside of the Canadiens). The Metropolitan Division is their’s to take, at this point. (November 16)
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- 4 ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Click on logos for links to full power rankings.