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Capitals Power Rankings Roundup: Week 8

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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 4 Big picture

The Caps have the fourth-best goal differential in the league and a very respectable record, but their position inside the Met is not yet secure. A very good Penguins team that has yet to really click sits just three points back, and the Islanders are only one point behind them. Winning two of three this week was helpful in keeping the wolves at bay, though one more goal against Dallas wouldn't have gone amiss.

By the numbers

It's been 11 games since sophomore forward Andre Burakovsky last scored a goal; in the interim, he has just a single assist. Pretty much all of the Caps' usual suspects are scoring at a quality pace, but a little bit of offensive depth wouldn't hurt. The 2013 first-round draft pick has the ability to provide that but hasn't of late.  (November 23)
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5 4 The Caps have been looking ordinary of late, save a few recent games. That said, Braden Holtby continues to shine with a 12-4-0 record and .926 save percentage. When scoring isn't on point, Holtby seems to be. (November 24)
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5 7 Alex Ovechkin's quest to surpass Sergei Fedorov was clearly weighing on the team. It's no surprise to see the Caps explode for seven goals in the game after Ovechkin scored No. 484. (November 23)
4 5 Leading scorer Evgeny Kuznetsov, 23, is on pace for a 90-point season, which would easily more than double his 37-point output from last season; his breakthrough year another reason this team is for real. That's a wicked one-two punch at center. (November 23)
4 5 Now that Alexander Ovechkin is officially the greatest Russian goal scorer of all-time, the Capitals can get back to winning some hockey games. Their most recent victim? The Colorado Avalanche. The lethal Caps offense hung seven goals on Patrick Roy’s club. And it’s coming from everywhere: four defensemen ended up scoring. (November 23)
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5 9 After getting flattened by teammate Justin Williams during the warmup, Braden Holtby stopped 33 shots for his first shutout of the season Monday night. (November 25)
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4 5 Washington is proving to be a well-balanced team that’s ranked sixth in goals scored per game and fourth in goals against per game. Standard stuff from a Barry Trotz-coached team. (November 25)
3 5 What's good: Defenseman Dmitry Orlov has goals in each of the past three games after scoring none in the first 18 games and six in his first 137 in the NHL.

What's not so good: Forward Andre Burakovsky is struggling in his second season; he has four points in 19 games. He's been a healthy scratch twice this week. (November 27)
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4 5 . [Ed. note: Grades, MVP for the first quarter]

Grade: A

MVP: Alex Ovechkin

Guess who leads the Caps in scoring? It's not Alex Ovechkin or Nicklas Backstrom. It's Evgeny Kuznetsov. He's becoming a star. You could go with the youngster, or Braden Holtby, or head coach Barry Trotz as the team's MVP. But it's still Ovechkin's team. (November 25)
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4 7 .So, apparently Alex Ovechkin set some sort of record last week, which is nice. Nicer still, the Caps continue to find ways to win games against lesser opponents, correcting a problem that dogged them last season. Last week: 3-1-0 (November 24)
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- 1 (Last updated November 16)
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4 6 The team's leading scorer is not Alex Ovechkin or Nicklas Backstrom but Evgeny Kuznetsov, with 24 points. His 19 even-strength points are also a team high, as is his plus-13 rating. Guy's a star. (November 26)
6 5 Tuned in the Avalanche on Saturday night, in a clear mismatch, and the Capitals have been so good even though they haven't seen a lot of progress from young forwards Andre Burakovsky and Tom Wilson.

Key Injuries: D Brooks Orpik (lower body). (November 23)
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- 2 (Last updated November 16)
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4 4 After team's seven-goal explosion Saturday, Tom Wilson is only Caps regular without a goal. (November 23)

Click on logos for links to full power rankings.