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Power Rankings: Caps are great, but how much better would they be with Andrew Ladd?

Ken Campbell
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Mike Richards Photo by Patrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images) Author: The Hockey News

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Power Rankings: Caps are great, but how much better would they be with Andrew Ladd?

Ken Campbell
By:

The Washington Capitals are making a very serious push for their first Stanley Cup in franchise history and a player of Andrew Ladd's ilk could help them get there if they could find the cap space.

Considering the fact that the Washington Capitals have to clear cap space to get Jay Beagle back in the lineup, they’d have a lot of work to do to get their hands on Andrew Ladd before the trade deadline.

The Capitals, among a lot of other contenders, have been mentioned as a possible destination for Ladd. And even though the Capitals are humming along nicely, how would they look going into the playoffs with a battle-proven Stanley Cup winner who has a penchant for scoring big goals?

Ladd would tick off all the boxes the Capitals have when it comes to their playoff needs. He’d look great in that lineup, if only GM Brian MacLellan could find a way to do it. The Capitals, meanwhile, are back at the top of thn.com’s weekly Power Rankings. (Last week’s ranking in parentheses.)

CREAM OF THE CROP
1. Washington Capitals (3)
2. Anaheim Ducks (4)
3. Tampa Bay Lightning (16)
4. Dallas Stars (2)
5. Los Angeles Kings (14)
6. St. Louis Blues (1)
7. Florida Panthers (6)
8. New York Islanders (11)
9. Nashville Predators (17)
10. Chicago Blackhawks (9)

The Capitals paid a pretty lofty price, a third-round pick, when they acquired defenseman Mike Weber from Buffalo Tuesday, particularly since Weber is an unrestricted free agent after this season…After not being able to score, the Ducks have scored 24 in their past five games, with seven of those coming from defensemen…Steven Stamkos has a goal in each of the Lightning’s four consecutive wins…Coach Lindy Ruff called John Klingberg, “pound for pound the best defender we have.” He’s just the best, period. One of the best in the league, in fact…After playing seven straight on the road, the Kings opened a run of eight of their next nine at home with a 2-1 win over Calgary Tuesday night…Alex Steen was putting together a Selke Trophy-type of season before being knocked out of the lineup for six weeks with an upper-body injury…After missing six games with a concussion, Sasha Barkov will be back tomorrow night when the Panthers host Arizona. So will defenseman Erik Gudbranson, who’s been out eight games with an undisclosed injury…Coach Jack Capuano called the Islanders 4-1 in Minnesota Tuesday night, “one of our best games of the season.”…With a natural hat trick against Toronto Tuesday night, 2015-16 rookie of the year candidate Filip Forsberg has nine goals in his past nine games…Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman was in Montreal Monday and Winnipeg Tuesday night. We’re guessing he wasn’t there scouting Team USA players for the World Cup.

THE MUSHY MIDDLE
11. New York Rangers (7)
12. San Jose Sharks (5)
13. Detroit Red Wings (13)
14. Ottawa Senators (23)
15. Pittsburgh Penguins (8)
16. Boston Bruins (10)
17. Minnesota Wild (22)
18. New Jersey Devils (12)
19. Carolina Hurricanes (15)
20. Colorado Avalanche (20)

J.T. Miller, who has been very good for the Rangers of late, was ejected from the Rangers 5-2 loss to New Jersey for wearing tape on his hand and cutting the nose of Sergey KalininJoe Thornton has points in eight of his past 10 games and has 5-9-14 totals in that time span…Riley Sheahan scored shorthanded in the Red Wings 2-1 shootout win over Columbus Tuesday, making the Red Wings the last team in the league to score shorthanded this season…Nick Paul became the fifth Senators player to score his first career NHL goal this season when he tallied in a 4-1 win over Edmonton Tuesday night…Evgeni Malkin, who has missed nine game with an undisclosed injury, and Nick Bonino, who has sat out nine with a hand injury, participated in their first practice with the team Tuesday. No word on when they’ll return for games, though… Only five teams in the NHL have fewer home wins than the 12-15-3 Bruins have at the TD Garden…With the exception of their outdoor game last weekend, the Wild haven’t won a game at home since Dec. 28…The Devils avoided their first four-game losing streak of the season with a 5-2 win over the Rangers Tuesday night. Sergey Kalinin had a Gordie Howe Hat Trick in the game…The Hurricanes shouldn’t trade Eric Staal only because he’s due to become an unrestricted free agent. They should trade him because his goal in a 3-1 win over Philadelphia Tuesday night was his first in 17 games. He has only four points in that time span…Nathan MacKinnon and Semyon Varlamov both missed practice Tuesday with illness and coach Patrick Roy announced Calvin Pickard will start tonight against San Jose.

VYING FOR THE PARTICIPATION BADGE
21. Columbus Blue Jackets
22. Philadelphia Flyers
23. Buffalo Sabres
24. Vancouver Canucks
25. Montreal Canadiens
26. Arizona Coyotes
27. Calgary Flames
28. Toronto Maple Leafs
29. Winnipeg Jets
30. Edmonton Oilers

Joonas Korpisalo had started 12 straight games before sitting out the Blue Jackets 2-1 shootout loss to Detroit Tuesday night. Coach John Tortorella was concerned he was wearing down…Shayne Gostisbehere’s 15-game point streak came to an end in a 3-1 loss to Carolina Tuesday night…How good has Ryan O’Reilly been for the Sabres this season? With him out of the lineup, they’ve relied on Sam Reinhart and Johan Larsson to fill his many roles… Why would Vancouver even consider trading Jannik Hansen? He’s on a cap-friendly deal and he’s enjoying the best season of his career…If the Canadiens can beat the Washington Capitals in regulation tonight, should be fairly easy, it will be their first indoor regulation win on the road since Nov. 27…With their playoff hopes fading fast, the Coyotes started a five-game road trip with two losses…Rookie Sam Bennett has moved back to center and should be in the middle as the Flames play out the string this season…No team in the NHL has as few wins at home as the eight the Maple Leafs have at the Air Canada Centre this season…Jets fans got a chance to bid adieu to Andrew Ladd, who scored in their 5-3 loss to Dallas Tuesday night. With two road games before the deadline, the Jets are all but certain to trade Ladd…After watching his team lose 4-1 to Ottawa Tuesday night, coach Todd McLellan said his team, “sucked the hind banana,” whatever that means, and directed criticism at defenseman Justin Schultz.

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Power Rankings: Caps are great, but how much better would they be with Andrew Ladd?