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Capitals Power Rankings Roundup: Week 25

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

Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports
Outlet This Week Last Week What They're Saying
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1 1 Big picture

Coach Barry Trotz wasn't too happy with his squad after Sunday's 6-2 loss to Pittsburgh.

"I'm not going to let guys off the hook," Trotz told NHL.com's Wes Crosby. "There's no excuse for the sloppy play, the lack of execution when the heat was on. We had some guys that I felt were not strong tonight, and you can't do that against a team that's trending well, because they're in playoff mode right now."

But, hey, you can't win 'em all. Washington has won the vast majority of their games so far and has the Presidents' Trophy virtually assured.

By the Numbers

The Vezina Trophy vote seems like it will come down to between Washington's Braden Holtby and Jonathan Quick of the Kings.

Holtby has the league lead in wins, with 43 to Quick's 37. But Quick has the better goals-against average (2.14 to 2.26), and the two are tied in save percentage (.921). (March 21)
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1 1 The Capitals aren't exactly on cruise control right now, but they may have eased off the gas pedal. They've lost three of five, including losses to the Sharks and Penguins where they gave up five and six goals. There's not much need to panic, though. (March 22)
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3 5 The Caps looked like they had returned to form briefly with wins over Carolina and red-hot Nashville until they were handed a humbling loss by Pittsburgh. (March 21)
2 1 Evgeny Kuznetsov registered three assists and teammate Daniel Winnik added two assists during Friday's 4-1 win over the Predators. However, the Caps dropped a 6-2 decision to the Penguins on Sunday, which is enough to drop them out of the top spot in the rankings. (March 21)
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4 10 The Capitals magic number for clinching the Presidents’ Trophy stands at five. (March 23)
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1 1 The Capitals clinched the Metropolitan Division and the top seed in the Eastern Conference on Tuesday night. (March 23)
1 1 Hit: Six of their last 10 games are against teams in position for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. They also play the Colorado Avalanche, who are one point behind Minnesota for the final wild card from the Western Conference. For a team that has just about everything wrapped up, getting some tough competition before the playoffs should be good for preparation.

Miss: They haven't been playing their best of late, and instead have been playing in spurts. The Capitals have to use these 10 games to rediscover their best going into the playoffs. (March 24)
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1 1 Despite Braden Holtby's assessment that the Capitals have "kind of hit that bottom," they're still far and away the top dogs, and they have 10 games left to kick things back into high gear before enjoying home-ice advantage. (March 23)
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1 1 Maybe being routed by the Penguins on Sunday could be written off as just another bad day at the office, but slow starts have to be a concern for coach Barry Trotz. The Caps spotted Pittsburgh a 2–0 lead on the way to that 6–2 defeat, the 15th time in their past 18 games that their opponent has scored first. Last week: 2-1-0 (March 22)
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- 1 (Last updated March 9)
1 1 Washington has clinched first place in the Eastern Conference, with 10 games remaining, a feather in the cap for a tremendous season. They still need to get John Carlson back on the blueline and could use G Braden Holtby – who has a .903 save percentage in his past 24 games – playing like he did earlier in the season.

Key Injuries: D John Carlson (lower body).(March 23)
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1 1 Safely in a playoff spot, the Capitals need to improve their early-game play to avoid another postseason upset. (March 21)

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