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Capitals Power Rankings Roundup: Week 22

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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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1 1 Big picture

Washington is running away with first place in the NHL, holding an 11-point lead on second-place Chicago. That makes it quite a bit easier to live with a mildly displeasing week in which the Caps won only two of their four games and lost Sunday's marquee matchup against the Blackhawks.

As has been the case for weeks, the Capitals have more or less ensured a successful regular season. The trick will be duplicating it in the playoffs.

By the Numbers

Brooks Orpik missed much of the year, and despite its success, Washington missed him. The team may not have realized how quickly he'd make an offensive impact, though. In seven games back, Oprik has collected six points; that's as many as he put up over 70 games in the entire 2006-07 NHL season. (February 29)
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1 1 Washington didn't have to do much at the deadline, so they didn't do much. They did, however, get out from under Brooks Laich's cap hit, which will come in handy this year and next. Meanwhile, they're still leading the league by 11 points. (March 1)
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4 1 It's sad to see Brooks Laich go, but Daniel Winnik should prove to be an upgrade. Perhaps the Laich trade can also serve as a jolt for a Caps team that has been sleepwalking a bit through February. (March 1)
1 1 If the hockey gods have a true love for the game, they will find a way to have the Capitals and Blackhawks battling for the Stanley Cup in June. In a highly entertaining game between the teams on Sunday, the Blackhawks finished with a 3-2 victory over the Capitals. Maybe it was a preview for what's to come this spring. (February 29)
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4 1 With 19 games remaining, the Capitals have 47 wins, which is one more than they had last season and ties the 1995-96 Detroit Red Wings for the most after 63 games. (March 3)
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- 1 (Last updated February 24)
1 1 Hit: Braden Holtby won his 40th game of the season Tuesday. He is the fastest to reach 40 wins in a season (52 games played), according to Elias Sports Bureau.

Miss: Couldn't help but feel for Brooks Laich on Wednesday when he returned to Verizon Center as a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs after being traded on Sunday. Laich was the longest tenured player in Washington and this was going to be his best shot to win the Stanley Cup. (March 3)
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2 1 The Capitals failed at their biggest test of the season Sunday against the Blackhawks, but they're still 13-4-0 in their last 17 games. Washington will have an opportunity to regain top spot in the power rankings against Anaheim on Monday. (March 2)
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2 2 There’s much to be said for being able to play well in close games, but shouldn’t a team this good blow someone out everyone now and then? Eleven of the Caps' past 13 games have been one-goal affairs. Where’s the killer instinct? Last week: 1-2-0 (March 1)
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1 1 [Future Trade Bait Edition] RFA-in-waiting (again) Marcus Johansson took the Capitals to arbitration last summer, and the arbitrator gave him a one-year deal. With Washington tight to the ceiling, perhaps GM Brian MacLellan considers dealing the forward. Another solid season means he'll be looking for another raise. (March 3)
- 1 (Last updated February 17)
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- 1 (Last updated February 15)

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