|Outlet||This Week||Last Week||What They're Saying|
I had these guys at No. 1, but was outvoted by my colleagues. A 3-0 loss at Arizona Saturday night was a bit of a head-scratcher, though, especially after thoroughly dominating Colorado the night before.
On 47, Braden Holtby needs one more victory to tie Martin Brodeur's all-time record for most wins in a season. He's likely to win the Vezina Trophy, which would be the first of his career. Coach Barry Trotz might want to rest him a bit in the final week, though. No need to overplay a guy when the playoffs are near, record or no record.
By the Numbers
Friday's 4-2 win over Colorado set a new franchise mark for victories in a season (55). According to Washington's PR on Twitter, the Caps became the 10th team in NHL history to win 55 games. (April 3)
|1||1||The Caps can cruise to the finish and in some games they've looked a bit too relaxed, but there's not much left to play for in the regular season aside from Braden Holtby's chance to make history. He is one win shy of tying Martin Brodeur's single-season record. (April 5)|
|3||3||All eyes are on Nicklas Backstrom who missed two games with an upper-body injury. Just a precaution or cause for concern? (April 4)|
|4||3||So hard to judge where the Caps are because they've had so little to play for over the past month. Can Braden Holtby break the single-season record held by Martin Brodeur? You know the Caps would love for that to happen and to hit their stride once more when Game 1 opens at Verizon Center next week against the 8th seed in the conference. (April 4)|
|5||3||In what could be a preview of the Stanley Cup final, the Capitals will host Anaheim Sunday night to make up for their postponed game in January. (April 6)|
|1||1||Capitals goalie Braden Holtby is one win away from tying Martin Brodeur’s single-season record. He has two more games to break that mark. (April 6)|
Hit: Left wing Alex Ovechkin has found his scoring touch again after a slump. He has four goals in the past four games after scoring two in his previous 12. He leads the NHL with 47 goals.
Miss: Center Nicklas Backstrom has missed three straight games with an upper-body injury. The team as a whole has a slight limp heading into the final three games of the regular season. The Capitals are 2-2-2 in their past six. (April 7)
|4||5||The Capitals aren't playing their best hockey, but they move up a spot and get a top-four ranking because of consistent excellence. (April 6)|
|4||1||No one's panicking over Washington stumbling into the playoffs with a 6-4-2 mark, especially since they clinched the Presidents' Trophy along the way. But there is a bit of a hitch in their game of late. They have scored just four even-strength goals in their past four games, and they allowed four third-period goals against in losses to Philly and Arizona. Wouldn't hurt to tighten up this week. Last week: 1-1-1 (April 5)|
|3||1||[Ed. Note: "The Mulligan Edition"] Not many regrets when you have the greatest regular season in franchise history, but Caps fans probably lament that time they searched "Filip Forsberg" on YouTube. (2015-16: Forsberg — 32 goals, NHL; Martin Erat — 5 goals, KHL.) (April 7)|
|1||1||Over the past 15 games, the Capitals have four regulation wins, and only one of those against a team in the playoffs. It’s hard to know how much of this slump is a team fading and how much of it is a team cruising into the postseason because they have had a comfortable lead atop the standings for a long time now. This vulnerability will be exacerbated if C Nicklas Backstrom isn’t ready to return from injury.
Key Injuries: C Nicklas Backstrom (upper-body) (April 5)
|-||1||Safely in a playoff spot, the Capitals need to improve their early-game play to avoid another postseason upset. (Last updated March 21)|
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