Ranking the Washington Capitals' Biggest Needs at the 2013 NHL Trade Deadline

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Ranking the Washington Capitals' Biggest Needs at the 2013 NHL Trade Deadline
USA TODAY Sports

If the Washington Capitals' strategy and status at the NHL trade deadline was confusing before, it only got worse over the weekend.

The good news is that the Caps picked up three of a possible four points this weekend. On Saturday in Buffalo, the Caps rallied from two-goals down in the third period, forced a tie with just 40 seconds remaining in regulation then won the game in a shootout.

The bad news is that on Sunday, the Caps did the exact opposite, this time blowing a two-goal lead in the final eight minutes of the third period, giving up the game-tying goal with less than 10 seconds remaining and then losing in overtime to the Philadelphia Flyers.

After the games from Monday night, the Caps now sit just three points out of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference and have crept to within four points of the Southeast division-leading Winnipeg Jets. Without question, the Caps are right in the thick of an unbelievably tight playoff race in the Eastern Conference.

How tight are things? Even the last-place Florida Panthers are only nine points out of the last playoff spot. Suffice it to say, it is going to be a dogfight all the way to the bitter end to decide the final few playoff spots in the Eastern Conference.

If you read my article from last week that served as a primer for the Caps at the trade deadline, then you are already well-versed with what the Caps might need to do at the trade deadline and what their needs are.

The outcome of the games this weekend has served to clarify some things while others remain very murky. So now, in the last day or so before April 3, this is an update of sorts to that prior article complete with all the latest news and rumors I can find.

Here then is a ranking of the Caps' biggest needs at the 11th hour before the trade deadline expires.

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