Capital Ups and Downs: Week 8

Our weekly look at individual Washington Capitals' ups and downs:

Goalies Trend Notes
Michal Neuvirth - A home loss and unimpressive numbers in his NHL season debut don't tell the whole story of Neuvy's Friday night, but he'll certainly want to show more in his next recall.
Jose Theodore ? Difficult week for Theo off the ice, is back with the team now and looking to get back on track.
Semyon Varlamov A 1.44/.949 week should result in nothing but wins. Alas, Varly will have to settle for a win Tuesday and the knowledge that he's the only reason his team got a point on Saturday night.
Defensemen
John Carlson - Led the team in hits in his NHL debut and isn't shy about shooting the puck or skating it into the offensive zone. There's a reason his arrival has been eagerly anticipated.
John Erskine - Dropped the gloves with Georges Laraque, but seems to be getting slower (at least by comparison to his fellow rearguards) every game. Correlation?
Mike Green Five points (all assists) in three games to take the lead among all NHL blueliners in points, but needs to be less generous in distributing the puck to opposing teams.
Milan Jurcina + Missed all three games - as many as he didn't play in all of last season.
Shaone Morrisonn + Got his bell rung in Wednesday night's game and missed the weekend.
Brian Pothier Took six shots and blocked nine in three games. Solid.
Tom Poti + .Missed much of Friday night's game and all of Saturday's; just three shots on goal in his last eight games.
Jeff Schultz - A pair of three-hit games and a plus-one rating for the week - big minutes and few stats to show for 'em.
Swingman
Tyler Sloan - Scratched in New York, started on the wing Friday night only to be shifted back to the blueline for most of the game and all of Saturday night. The versatility was nice; the play on the blueline less so.
Forwards .
Nicklas Backstrom One assist in his last five games, no goals in his last nine, no shots in his last two... needs to get back on track.
Jay Beagle - Got his first NHL point on Tuesday night, but not much else to speak of in limited minutes.
Matt Bradley No, he didn't do much over the weekend, but Brads did more than enough on Tuesday to earn an up arrow for the week. #needsmoreBradley
Chris Clark Got a shot at top line RW, but couldn't stick. Saturday night's game was his first in five without a minus-one rating.
Eric Fehr - Sniped a nice goal Friday night, but just four shots on goal for a week that included some better-than-usual minutes.
Tomas Fleischmann - Nine-game point streak snapped Friday night, has now gone four straight shots on goal without scoring, killing his shooting percentage.
Andrew Gordon - Blink and you missed his eight-shift season debut.
Boyd Gordon + Gordon's missing a lot of time in an important season for the RFA-to-be.
Mike Knuble + Tuesday night's battle in Manhattan was exactly the kind of game for which you want Knuble in the lineup, but there will be plenty of those come spring.
Brooks Laich Goal, assist, plus-two, 11 shots on goal and can play on any line or in any situation (he's the only Cap forward averaging more than two minutes per game on each of the special teams units). Bless you, Brooksie.
Quintin Laing A well-deserved purple heart for Q.
Brendan Morrison - A nice goal late against Montreal, but penalties in each of the three games, one the ice for both power play goals the Caps surrendered (and four of six goals against overall) and neither of the extra man tallies they scored.
Michael Nylander Zzzz...
Alex Ovechkin - For anyone else, two goals in three games would be a great week. But for The Great Eight, the bar's set higher. And he can be better.
Mathieu Perreault - Continues to produce in limited ice time (he's between Ilya Kovalchuk and Alex Ovechkin in 5-on-5 points per sixty), and even won 54% of his draws this week.
Alexander Semin + Could've used him against the Leafs. And the Habs. And the Rangers.
David Steckel - Keeps doing what he does best (winning faceoffs and killing penalties), but no forward in the League has taken more shots without scoring a goal than Stecks.
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