Capital Ups and Downs: Week 14

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

Goalies Trend Notes
Michal Neuvirth http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Not as bad as his 0-2-0/3.52/.865 for the week would indicate, especially considering that just three of the seven goals he allowed came at five-aside.
Jose Theodore http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217737/down.png One could argue - convincingly - that Theo hasn't been put in a position to succeed lately, and succeed he hasn't. With save percentages of .873 and .891 in November and December, respectively, the Caps will hope to get some decent minutes out of him and pray for Varly's health the rest of the way.
Semyon Varlamov http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217725/cross.png The good news? He was stopped 28 of the 29 shots he faced in Hershey last night. The bad news? He "suffered another unspecified injury that has been termed day-to-day."
Defensemen
Karl Alzner http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217737/down.png A rough minus-three week saw Alzner on the ice for each of Carolina's first four goals and the second Sharks tally (easily his two worst games of the season), and his ice time has suffered. Here's an idea: get him away from John Erskine.
John Erskine http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217737/down.png Brutal against Carolina, Erskine followed it up with a penalty in each of the West Coast games and was the guilty party on one of the two awarded penalty shots in San Jose.
Mike Green http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Snubbed by Team Canada, Green continues to pile up points (two power play goals and an extra-man helper for the week, meaning he pointed on each of the PP tallies the Caps scored this week), but was minus-one in each game in huge minutes (more than thirty in two of the three games).
Shaone Morrisonn http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Mo's last point was on November 7, and in the 15 games since, he has three shots on goal and a minus-one rating. It's really a shame the Caps couldn't trade him to the Jackets, but as I read somewhere, "Columbus has to agree to the deal, too, right? Heh." Heh indeed.
Brian Pothier http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217725/cross.png That the Caps miss Pothier so much speaks to their blueline woes.
Tom Poti http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png Returned to the lineup in San Jose and had assists there and in L.A. to point in back-to-back games for the first time this season. His inability to clear pucks on the penalty kill, however, is increasingly maddening.
Jeff Schultz http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Played more than 55 minutes for the week and was only on the ice for one of the goals the Caps surrendered.
Swingman
Tyler Sloan http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Played sparingly against the 'Canes (but long enough to block three shots and get hung with a minus-one) and was scratched twice in California.
Forwards
Nicklas Backstrom http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217737/down.png One assist, minus-two, 45.9% in the dot and one massive headache for the week. Ouch.
Matt Bradley http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Nothin' to show for his efforts this week (perhaps a momentum-changing scrap would've been nice) except a minus-one.
Jason Chimera http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png The new guy assisted on a goal in his first game as a Cap, but his coach hit the nail on the head: "I think he's playing a little too tentative right now. We need him to play with a little more recklessness. When he does that, he'll fit in well." We're all waiting for that first truly endearing moment.
Eric Fehr http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217737/down.png Credited with a fluky goal against Carolina (his only marker in his last ten games), called out following the San Jose game and scratched against the Kings, Fehr has returned to his familiar place in Chez Bow Wow.
Tomas Fleischmann http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217737/down.png Goalless in five, minus-three for the week and only four shots on goal in his last four games, Flash has to find a way to create more offense.
Boyd Gordon http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Gordon returned to the lineup against the 'Canes, was scratched in San Jose and played against the Kings, but isn't doing much more than winning draws (nine of 11 so far) yet.
Mike Knuble http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png A goal early in the third in San Jose briefly gave Caps fans some hope, both in that game and for Knuble, who has only lit the lamp twice since November 7 (12 games played) and was minus-three for the week. Interesting stat: the Caps' big "net presence" acquisition has just one power play goal in 29 games on the season, which he scored on October 3.
Brooks Laich http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Laich showed signs of offensive life with a goal (and another waived off) and an assist against Carolina, but missed a golden opportunity to tie the Kings game while 5-on-3 and, well, blew it.
Quintin Laing http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Small minutes, small role... big heart only gets you so far.
Brendan Morrison http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217737/down.png No points, minus-three, three shots on goal, an awful penalty and 46.3% on draws for the week are hopefully rock bottom numbers for a guy who has come crashing back to earth with just three points in his last 13 games.
Alex Ovechkin http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217737/down.png AO's still shooting (two seven-shot games on the week), but had trouble finding the net over the past week and looked a bit off. Perhaps the weight of carrying the team - or the potential captaincy decision - is weighing on him.
Alexander Semin http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217737/down.png One goal in his last nine games, and no points with a minus-three rating for the week (and since his new deal was announced), a breakout performance can't be too far away... can it?
David Steckel http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png More of the same from Stecks - no offense, strong in the face off circle.
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