Quick Links

Who is the top left wing in the NHL? EA Sports releases its ratings

Who is the top left wing in the NHL? EA Sports releases its ratings

There are few questions in sports, nay, in life that create such heated debate than a sports player's video game rating. There have been riots in the streets, wars have been fought and thousands have died all because of arguments stemming from player ratings in the annual installments of all the various sports video games.

NHL 18 will be released Sept. 15 and to generate excitement, EA Sports has been releasing the top 10 players at different positions. On Sunday, the company released the top 10 left wings in the game. Caps fans will be pleased to know that Alex Ovechkin clocks in at No. 1 with a rating of 92.

 Writes EA Sports:

Alex Ovechkin is perhaps one of the best goal scorers in NHL history. On the power play, there might not be a better player to score. You know exactly where Ovi is going to be and the Washington Capitals feed him the puck to his spot where he uses his accurate (95) and powerful (95) Slap Shot. With five 5-star categories, Ovechkin's got a lot of tools in his arsenal to dominate the competition.

RELATED: 25 most important Caps: No. 17 Christian Djoos

Yes, Ovechkin scored 33 goals last season, but 33 is still pretty darn good and even at 32 years old, which he will turn in September, EA Sports still sees him as a top threat.

Here is the full list of left wingers. Quick note, Caps fans should probably stop reading the list at No. 7.

1. Alex Ovechkin 92
2. Jamie Benn 90
3. Taylor Hall 87
4. Brad Marchand 87
5. Johnny Gaudreau 87
6. Max Pacioretty 87
7. Artemi Panarin 86
8. Filip Forsberg 86
9. Eric Staal 85
10. Gabriel Landeskog 85

Some other takeaways from the rest of the list:

Wow, a hockey list that actually acknowledges Hall as one of the top offensive players in the NHL? Odd. EA Sports' hockey credibility just went up in my book, though I would consider Eric Staal a center rather than a wing. Is Artemi Panarin really one of the top 10 left wings in the league? He will have to prove it now that he is in Columbus rather than Chicago playing on a line with Patrick Kane. If he is that good, watch out for Columbus this year.

What do you think of EA Sports' rankings?

MORE CAPITALS: Capitals Faceoff Podcast: Storytime with Mike Vogel

Quick Links

Can Pittsburgh's past be a goalie rotation blueprint?


Can Pittsburgh's past be a goalie rotation blueprint?

It’s happened. The Caps no longer seem to have a No. 1 goalie anymore, they have a No. 1 and 1a.

That’s right, we have a goalie rotation in Washington.

“There's no sense riding one,” Barry Trotz said after practice on Monday. “[Braden Holtby] is coming back and looking better every game and [Philipp Grubauer] played pretty well for a long stretch so why not have both of them going?”

Grubauer got the start Sunday in Philadelphia and Holtby is slated to get the start Tuesday against the Dallas Stars. After that we will have to wait and see.


Trotz has no layout for which goalie he wants to start and when in the remaining ten games. He is not thinking about each goalie splitting five games or which one he wants to use more.

Nope. Trotz has just one thing on his mind. It is all about who starts the next game, that’s it.

“I think you just go with a guy that's hot at the time and your team feels comfortable with and go from there,” Trotz said.

So where does this leave the goaltending situation when it comes to the playoffs? A goalie rotation is all well and good in the regular season, but he has to have one starter for the postseason, right?

Not necessarily.


When Trotz was asked if he philosophically believed in having one starter for the playoffs, Trotz initially said he would not answer, but then said, “Why don't you ask Mike Sullivan what he thinks.”

Sullivan, of course, is the head coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins who has led his team to a Stanley Cup in each of the past two seasons despite turning to both goalie Marc-Andre Fleury and Matt Murray in both seasons.

While Pittsburgh’s goalie rotation was largely based on injury, however, it still provides an example of how using both goalies can work in the playoffs and that seems to be the path the Caps are headed on at the moment.

Said Trotz, “You just have to go with your gut who you think is going to get the job done.”

Quick Links

NHL Power Rankings: The home stretch

USA Today Sports

NHL Power Rankings: The home stretch

We are down to the home stretch. Only 10 games remain in the Capitals' regular season. Those 10 games will ultimately decide if the Caps finish in first place in the Metropolitan Division and who they will play in the first round of the playoffs.

Washington currently sits in first place in the division, two points ahead of the Pittsburgh Penguins and four points ahead of the Philadelphia Flyers. Of those 10 remaining games, only three come against teams currently in playoff position. The most critical of these comes on April 1 when the Caps travel to Pittsburgh in a game that could ultimately decide the division.

The Caps still hold a narrow lead in the standings, but where do they stand in the rankings? See this week's updated NHL Power Rankings here.