August 10, 2022

Washington Capitals Power Rankings: Week 2

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?

The Caps went 1-2-0 last week. They looked good on the power play, but much less so at 5-on-5, especially in their own end. Just two games this week: Thursday against Carolina and Saturday against Colorado.

Rank Player The Good, Bad or Ugly
1. Alex Ovechkin 4 goals, 2 assists, -1, 4 PIMs. Ovi’s picked up right where he left off last season.
2. Mikhail Grabovski 3-2-5, -1, 0 PIMs. Grabbo had a real big night in Chicago and is settling in nicely on the power play.
3. Nick Backstrom 1-3-4, even, 0 PIMs. Backstrom’s would-be goal in Dallas was waived off after he cross-checked Kari Lehtonen in the head.
4. Karl Alzner 0-1-1, -1, 2 PIMs. Karl is logging heavy minutes, befitting as his status as top defensive defenseman.
5. Mike Green 0-4-4, -3, 2 PIMs. Looked like he had a pair of goals in the opener until video review transferred them to Grabovski.
6. Marcus Johansson 0-4-4, +1, 0 PIMs. Was a passenger in Chicago but followed that up with a pair of nice games.
7. John Carlson 0-0-0, even, 0 PIMs. Carlson’s taken just four shots in three games. Expect him to get more involved in the offense this week.
8. Braden Holtby 0-2-0, 4.48, .848. Holtby’s had a couple of clunkers, but looked good against Dallas. He needs to justify Oates’ confidence in him this week.
9. Brooks Laich 0-0-0, -3, 0 PIMs. Laich has managed to stay in the lineup, but you wouldn’t have noticed it by his stat line.
10. Troy Brouwer 0-0-0, -2, 0 PIMs. Notice a theme? Caps have just three goals at even-strength. That’s just not gonna cut it.
11. Joel Ward 0-1-1, -5, 2PIMs. Most noticeable thing he did last week was get stuck in a toilet.
12. Jason Chimera 0-0-0, -4, 0 PIMs. Averaging 15:05 of ice time a night. What’s he doing with it?
13. Michael Neuvirth 1-0-0, 1.22, .964. Neuvy came on in relief in the win over Calgary   and stopped 27 of 28 shots against. That’s what you need from the back-up.
14. Eric Fehr 0-0-0, -6, 2 PIMs. That -6 is worst on the team. With no offense to back that up, Fehr’s minutes   might start to drop.
15. Tom Wilson 0-0-0, even, 5 PIMs. Wilson’s averaging just   6:16 on ice time a night, lowest of any forward still on the roster. How much is he learning at that rate?
16. Steve Oleksy 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIMs. Took Hillen’s spot against Dallas, but Oates won’t go with the off-hand shot at left D for very long, if at all.
17. Jay Beagle 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIMs. Snoopy’s back on the 4th line after Latta was sent out. Can only   do so much with what he’s got.
18. Connor Carrick 1-0-1, -2, 6 PIMs. Carrick had a rough first week in the bigs. Has shown promise for sure, but the penalties and responsibility breakdowns have to get cleaned up if he wants to stay.
19. Martin Erat 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIMs. Just 7:59 of ice time per night. They need to play him, either for production of trade value. 4th line duty with Jay Beagle is sucking all value from him.
20. John Erskine 0-0-0, -3, 4 PIMs. Big John is the poster boy for the Caps problems. He’s getting skated past every single night.
21. Aaron Volpatti DNP. Healthy scratches  first three games.
22. Michael Latta 0-0-0, even, 0 PIMs. Latta looked okay in Chicago, but was sent packing with the waiver claim of Alexander Urbom.
23. Jack Hillen 0-0-0, -2, 0 PIMs. Hillen will be out 4-to-6 months after the collision that left him with a fractured tibial plateau.
HM Alexander Urbom Honorable Mention: Claimed off waivers from New Jersey. Was their 4th ranked defensive prospect. Big (6’4, 215), a good skater and a left-handed shot, not that he uses it all that often.
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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