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Capitals Power Rankings Roundup: Week 5

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

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Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Outlet This Week Last Week What They're Saying
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4 2 Big picture

It was an OK week for the Caps, as they won two out of three. But the loss, at home to Pittsburgh on national TV Wednesday, was a disappointment. They had to struggle to beat Columbus and Florida after that.

Otherwise, it's still very positive for this group. Nicklas Backstrom has eight points in his first seven games back after a hip problem, and Evgeny Kuznetsov is the team scoring leader with 13 points. Goalie Braden Holtby is in the early running for the Vezina with a 1.90 goals-against average.

By the numbers

Defenseman John Carlson has made Caps partisans forget about Mike Green already.

While Green remains sidelined by injury in Detroit—after signing a three-year, $18 million contract—Carlson has 10 points in his first 10 games and is helping run the power play nicely. Washington's 24.1 percent clip on the PP ranks fourth in the league.

Carlson was always somewhat in the shadow of Green offensively on the Caps blue line, but no more.  (November 2)
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2 2 Much has been made of the Capitals expected success scoring goals, but Braden Holtby hasn't allowed more than two goals in a game in his last six starts, going 5-1-0 over that span. (November 3)
5 2 The Caps have not looked like the same team that rolled through Canada, but they still have only two losses on the season. (November 2)
3 2 I know poor Caps fans have been sucked in before (for about a decade, actually), but I'm not alone in thinking these guys are for real. They started showing it last season in Barry Trotz's first season and they're even more impressive now. This team is built for playoff success. (November 2)
3 2 The offense has slowed in Washington. Through the Caps’ first seven games, they had 29 goals. In their last three? Five. But they are still winning because their team defense is making up for it. With just two losses on the year, they are off to one of the best starts in franchise history. (November 2)
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7 2 (November 2)
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5 2 The Capitals haven’t dropped points in back-to-back games all season. (November 4)
6 2 What's good: They finished October with a .800 winning percentage (8-2-0), the highest winning percentage for the month in franchise history.

What's not so good: They had only themselves to blame for a 5-2 loss to the Rangers on Tuesday when mistakes and defensive miscues burned them. (November 6)
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8 5 That revenge game against the Rangers game didn't go so well. (November 4)
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2 2 With their 2–1 OT win over the Panthers on Saturday, the Caps improved to 8-2-0 on the season to match the best start in franchise history (1991-92 and 2011-12). They also improved to 4-0 on the road and are undefeated in one-goal games. Not a bad way to come out of the gate. Last week: 2-1-0 (November 3)
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2 2 (November 2)
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7 7 The Capitals' 8-2-0 record in October only signifies the best start in franchise history. And while starter Braden Holtby looks stellar again this season, backup Philipp Grubauer has been perfect (2-0-0) in his starts, taking a little pressure off the workhorse. [Goaltending] Grade: B+ (November 6)
3 2 . Look who's not scoring on the power play - LW Alex Ovechkin has 12 points (5 G, 7 A) in nine games and has no goals and one assist with the man advantage.

Key Injuries: None. (November 2)
5 5 Not much has changed for the Capitals since last week, as they continue to showcase one of the league’s most dynamic offenses alongside one of the league’s best goaltenders, and a solid defensive group. The Caps are third in the league in sc-adj SAT%, fourth in power play conversion, and ninth in penalty kill success rate.

If they can keep these numbers up while playing against stronger competition, then it will be time to start talking about the Capitals as serious Stanley Cup contenders. (October 31)
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- 2 Coming soon... maybe?

Click on logos for links to full power rankings.