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Capitals Power Rankings Roundup: Week 16

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

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Outlet This Week Last Week What They're Saying
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2 1 Big picture

I voted to keep the Caps No. 1 overall but was outvoted by my peers. So, I'm innocent here, Washington.

But I don't blame my colleagues too much. Losing to Buffalo Saturday was not the act of a team that aims to be the best. But this is the NHL. Parity and all that.

Braden Holtby left Sunday's game after consulting with a trainer, which immediately panicked Caps Nation. But the problem was later described as dehydration, according to Katie Brown of He should be fine.

By the numbers

Washington's plus-52 goal (149-97) differential is by far the widest in the league. That's why I still believe the Caps are the best team in the league, even if my colleagues don't get it (joking here, guys). (January 17)
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1 1 The Caps have opened up a staggering 17-point lead on the rest of the Metropolitan Division and have a five-point advantage in the Presidents' Trophy race. Washington also owns an absurd plus-52 goal differential. (January 19)
2 1 It was a rough week for Braden Holtby who suffered his first regulation loss since Nov. 10 and also had to leave Sunday's game early due to dehydration. Just a blip on the radar for the Caps who won Sunday anyway and have now won 12 straight at home. (January 18)
2 1 The Caps can be excused for taking a night off as they did Saturday while getting whipped by the Sabres. But they bounced back nicely Sunday, handling the Rangers 5-2, thanks to a Justin Williams hat trick. Braden Holtby got the win, even though he left after two periods because of dehydration. (January 18)
1 1 They just keep growing their point lead more and more each week. What is going to slow this team down? (January 18)
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2 3 Defenseman John Carlson practiced for the first time since being hurt Dec. 26 and should be back in the Washington lineup in the next couple of days (January 20)
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1 1 The Capitals have the best record in the league and have won seven of their last 10 games. It’s business as usual in Washington. (January 20)
1 1 Good: Their first line has 13 goals, second line has 11 and the third has 10 in the past nine games (7-1-1).

Not so good: --------- (January 22)
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1 1 Washington has lost to one team currently seeded in the postseason over the last two months, or 34 percent of its playing schedule.

Eastern contenders (if you still want to call them that) can't put a dent in the Capitals' armor. (January 20)
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2 2 Is there a better second line in hockey right now than Evgeny Kuznetsov, Justin Williams and Andre Burakovsky? The trio combined for 14 points last week and looks capable of providing the consistent secondary scoring the Caps will need if they're going to make noise during the playoffs. Last week: 3-0-0 (January 19)
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- 2 (Last updated January 4)
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2 1 [Injury-Stricken Edition] The NHL-leading Capitals have lost the third fewest man-games. Makes sense. Vezina favourite Braden Holtby gave a scare when he left Saturday's game to dehydration, but he's already bounced back with a win. John Carlson's injury has been the Caps' biggest obstacle. (January 20)
1 1 The injury to Jay Beagle has shifted the Capitals lines, with Andre Burakovsky moving to the wing on a scoring line and Marcus Johansson taking over as the third-line centre.

Key Injuries: D Brooks Orpik (lower body), D John Carlson (lower body), C Jay Beagle (upper body). (January 18)
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1 1 Red-hot Capitals show no signs of slowing, outscoring opponents 22-8 in five-game win streak. (January 18)

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