Capital Ups and Downs: Week 15

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

Goalies Trend Notes
Michal Neuvirth http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png 2-0-0/1.51/.954 for the week and every bit as good as those stats would seem to indicate, even when his teammates weren't (facts not lost on the young Czech: "I made a couple of huge saves in the first and then the guys got going. Every save gives me more confidence, especially those big saves. I'm getting used to the NHL, and I'm getting better.").
Jose Theodore http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png Superb against Ottawa, especially in terms of rebound control, and hopefully back on track.
Semyon Varlamov http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217725/cross.png Varly's going to get healthy just in time to go to Vancouver and get re-injured playing for his country, isn't he?
Defensemen
Karl Alzner http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217737/down.png A healthy Brian Pothier spelled the end of Alzner's latest cup of coffee, but truth be told, his recent play didn't make him impossible to send down either.
John Erskine http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png Plenty of hits and blocked shots with relatively few turnovers and penalties is about all you can hope for from Erskine, and is exactly what the Caps got this week.
Mike Green http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png Four helpers, a plus-seven rating and 6:37 of shorthanded ice time without a goal against in three games for @SnubbedLife52.
Shaone Morrisonn http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png A secondary assist gave Mo his first point since November 7, the plus-two rating equaled his December total, and his two shots on goal for the week were as many as he had in either of November or December.
Brian Pothier http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png Despite missing the first game of the week, led all Caps blueliners in shots on goal with six and added an assist.
Tom Poti http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png Riding a five-game point streak that has peaked (so far, at least) with a one-goal/two-assist Saturday night. His last five-game point streak? 2002.
Jeff Schultz http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png Three assists, a plus-eight rating (vaulting him into second overall in the League) and huge penalty killing minutes for a unit that went 8-for-9 on the week. Oh, and number of games Schultz has been a minus player since November? One. Jeff Cincocinco has arrived.
Swingman
Tyler Sloan http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Healthy-scratched in all but two games since December 9 didn't prevent Sloan from signing a $1.4 million extension... or us from subsequently scratching our collective heads.
Forwards
Nicklas Backstrom http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png Four points in three games isn't particularly unexpected from Backstrom, but that three of the points were goals is. He's now one of just two centers in the League with 15+ goals and 30+ assists.
Matt Bradley http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png With three assists in his last two games, Brads now is just four helpers (and six points) away from tying his single-season best.
Jason Chimera http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png His first goal as a Cap out of the way and showing an ever-increasing comfort level, look for better things from Chimera going forward (hopefully to include a bit more chippiness - he led the team in hits in Atlanta).
Eric Fehr http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Fehr hit double-digits in goals on Tuesday and is two shy of his career high.
Tomas Fleischmann http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png Maybe Tomas Fleischmann can be a great center after all - one goal, three assists, a plus-three rating, seven shots on goal and a 55.8 win percentage in the dot make the first week of this experiment a tremendous success.
Boyd Gordon http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png Gordo's goal against Ottawa was his first in more than a year, and his assist against Atlanta was his first since October 10.
Mike Knuble http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png On Saturday night, Knuble became the ninth Cap to hit double-digits in goals scored for the season (Chimera and Bradley should be next) and had three for the week (to go along with a plus-four rating). This is the Knuble we've been waiting for.
Brooks Laich http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png With a pair of one-assist/plus-two/two-shot games, Laich is getting back into the offensive flow, but isn't quite there yet (one power-play goal since December 5 speaks to that).
Quintin Laing http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Played sparingly against Montreal (though managed four shots on goal) and was scratched against Ottawa and Atlanta. Accordingly, we should expect a multi-year contract extension this week.
Brendan Morrison http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217737/down.png With no goals and just one assist (and 44.7 faceoff win percentage) in a week in which the team lit the lamp 17 times, B-Mo looks like a guy who has hit the wall. Hopefully the Olympic break serves to recharge the batteries.
Alex Ovechkin http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png One goal, three assists, plus-six (and now leading the League in that category), 19 shots on goal... and a new letter for his uniform. All in a week's work.
Alexander Semin http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png A pair of two-goal games (including a shorthanded tally and two game-winners) and 16 shots on goal for the week... could Ovechkin-Backstrom/Semin-Fleischmann develop into the most devastating one-two punch in the League?
David Steckel http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png Points in back-to-back regular season games for the first time in over a year, 70.6% in the dot and a good new contract... all signs point to "up arrow."
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