December 20, 2014

Washington Capitals Power Rankings: Opening Night

Each Monday this season, District Sports Page will rank the active roster of the Washington Capitals “power ranking” style. Cause who doesn’t love a gimmicky, made-for-page-hits power ranking?

Anyway, it isn’t Monday but it is Opening Night. So without further ado, here’s our premier Power Ranking for the 2013-14 season.

Rank Player The Good, Bad or Ugly
1. Alex Ovechkin The Captain, Olympic torchbearer and reigning MVP gets the No. 1 setting by default. It’s still good to be Ovi.
2. Connor Carrick No one impressed more or rose through the depth chart higher in preseason than the 19-year-old D-man.
3. Tom Wilson The rookie bruiser makes the opening might roster. His stock is pretty high right now.
4. Eric Fehr A pretty terrific preseason find him now centering the Caps’ third line.
5. Karl Alzner This.
6. Mikhail Grabovski Looked real good blending in with his new teammates in preseason, and he’s a great quote to boot.
7. Braden Holtby Lots of eyes on Holtby this season, and not just in D.C. A good first half could translate into a trip to Sochi.
8. Michael Latta Another rookie on the opening roster. Can skate, has skill, will roughhouse. A good combo for fourth line.
9. Nick Backstrom Nicky has nothing to prove but continued good health.
10. John Carlson Captain America is poised for a big jump this season. Started very slow last year and needs to avoid a repeat.
11. Mike Green Health allowed him to regain his scoring touch last season.
12. Brooks Laich Staying medium on Brooksy. Plus: He’s in the lineup. Minus: Could be out at a moment’s notice.
13. Troy Brouwer Brouwer will hold onto the critical slot spot on the power play. Will the absence of Mike Ribeiro make that much of a difference?
14. Joel Ward The grinder just keeps on keepin’ on.
15. Jason Chimera Chimera was lucky the axe fell on Perreault instead of him and his $1.75 million salary. Goals dropped off in a big way last season.
16. Jack Hillen Hillen has a talented left-handed shot (Orlov) behind him at Hershey just champing at the bit.
17. Marcus Johansson He’s still young, and still a great skater. This is his third full season in the league, the Caps need to see production out of him and not just be a passenger on the top line.
18. Michael Neuvirth A developing franchise-caliber and potential Olympic goalie ahead of him, the “Next Big Thing” behind him. Neuvy’s in a precarious position.
19. Martin Erat From potential second line wing to fourth liner for “veteran presence”. Bet is he’ll bounce up quickly.
20. John Erskine Big John hasn’t done anything wrong, yet. But he (really, the team) is taking a lot of flak for his second-pair status.
21. Jay Beagle Healthy scratch. Tough way to start the season.
22. Aaron Volpatti Healthy scratch. Expect to see his name listed here often.
23. Steve Oleksy Healthy scratch on opening night in favor of Carrick.
HR Matthieu Perreault Honorable Mention: Oh, Matty P. We’ll miss your diminutive hustle and bench celebrations, Pocket Ovi. 
About Dave Nichols

Dave Nichols is Editor-in-Chief of District Sports Page. He is credentialed to cover the Washington Nationals, Capitals, Wizards and Mystics. Dave also covers national college football and basketball and Major League Soccer for Associated Press and is a copy editor for the Spokesman-Review newspaper in Spokane, WA. He spent four years in radio covering the Baltimore Orioles, Washington Redskins and the University of Maryland football and basketball teams. Dave is a life-long D.C. sports fan and attended his first pro game in 1974 — the Caps’ second game in existence. You can follow him on Twitter @DaveNicholsDSP

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