April 5, 2020

Washington Captials Power Rankings: Week 3

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 0-2-0 last week, looking hapless and lethargic for most of both games. There are sparks in their play on occasion, but those occasions are few and far between right now.

Upcoming Schedule: Mon. against Edmonton at 7:00 pm; Weds. against N.Y. Rangers at 8:00 pm; Sat. against Columbus at 7:00 pm.

Rank Player The Good, Bad or Ugly
1. Alex Ovechkin Goal against Carolina, minus-3 against Colorado. The power play was powerless last week and that starts and kind of ends with Ovi.
2. Eric Fehr Goal and assist last week. Leading the team’s most effective line thus far. 56.1% in the dot. Huzzah!
3. Nate Schmidt The left-handed defenseman made his debut against Colorado and played pretty well, recording three shots on goal in the process. To   think, if Dmitry Orlov didn’t have pink eye he might not have even made the   trip.
4. Karl Alzner Recorded five shots last week. Not really his thing, maybe the mustache made him do it.
5. Troy Brouwer Not here for his play (no points and just seven shots on goal for the year), but for saying what every fan was thinking following the Colorado   game. There are too many guys not exhibiting enough effort or intensity out there. Hope Brouwer has the good sense to realize he’s part of the problem.
6. Mikhail Grabovski Without a point for   the week. The second line is having a tough time jelling out there. Maybe a time for a little shakeup.
7. Nick Backstrom One assist against Carolina and a whopping minus-3 vs Colorado, including a weak effort against Tanguay on his short-handed marker.
8. Mike Green Didn’t have a shot against Carolina, was minus-2 against Colorado. When the power play struggles as it did last week, Green’s points are at a premium.
9. Jason Chimera Old Stone Hands had a goal and assist last week with five shots in two games, constituting a blistering hot streak for him.
10. Joel Ward Had a helper on the lone goal against Colorado. Contributing to the Caps most effective puck-possession line this season. Will he be eventually rewarded for it?
11. Brooks Laich Without a point in five games and minus-5 overall. If this is the new Brooks Laich after all the injuries, he shouldn’t be on anyone’s second line.
12. Marcus Johansson Hasn’t registered a point since the second game of the season. Peerless   said it best: MoJo hasn’t been a passenger; he’s been baggage thus far.
13. Steve Oleksy Oleksy got an assist   against Carolina on Ovechkin’s tip-in but was   minus-2 against Colorado. Around here, that’s a combo to get you moved up on the power rankings!
14. Alexander Urbom Hasn’t looked out of place at the left D. Showed off a big. Booming shot against Colorado. Watch this space.
15. John Carlson Carlson had a rough week, twice deflecting shots past his own goalie. His skating against Colorado was abysmally lazy.
16. Braden Holtby Stopped 33-of-36 against Carolina. Was not the reason the Caps lost, but didn’t lead them to victory either. We were all looking for better than .873 save percentage from him this season.
17. Tom Wilson He says he’s learning a lot in practice and by being with the big club. I suppose any teenager on and NHL roster will tell you those things. Plus, the per diem is much better than in the “O”.
18. Michael Neuvirth Stopped 23-of-28 against Colorado. Was beaten short-side twice, including on a short-handed goal. Needs to take advantage   of every playing opportunity and really didn’t last week.
19. Jay Beagle He’s your fourth-line center, all 7:37 TOI/G of him.
20. Martin Erat Erat’s time on the penalty kill is getting him up to 10 minutes of TOI, so there’s that. But for all the clamoring for him to get moved up, he still only has two shots on goal in five games. Even Beagle’s done that!
21. John Erskine 0-0-0, -5, 6 PIMs. He’s really dragging Carlson down with him.
22. Michael Latta Earned 7:03 of ice time against Carolina and was -1. Was sent back to Hershey on Friday. He’s gonna get real familiar with that trip this season.
23. Connor Carrick Was scratched for Carolina and Columbus then shipped to Hershey on Friday with Latta. Regular playing time with the Bears is what this teenager needs right now.
24. Aaron Volpatti DNP. Healthy scratches   first five games. Someone remind me why he was kept and Perreault was sent away?
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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