Capital Ups and Downs: Week 2

WASHINGTON - OCTOBER 13: Alex Ovechkin #8 of the Washington Capitals celebrates his game winning goal against the New York Islanders at the Verizon Center on October 13 2010 in Washington DC. The Capitals defeated the Islanders 2-1. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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

Goalies Trend Notes
Michal Neuvirth http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png His ten consecutive home wins ties Olie Kolzig's franchise mark, which is nice. Nicer? His 3-0-0/1.62/.947 week (which sure sounds like "Star of the Week" material).  Neuvirth has given up more than two goals in just one of his last nine NHL starts, a span over which he's 7-1-0/2.00/.940.
Semyon Varlamov http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Off the IR and ready to make his season debut after spotting Neuvirth a five-game head start in their battle for number one netminder.
Defensemen
Karl Alzner http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png In three games, Alzner played 55:43, 7:02 of which came shorthanded (including a team-high 4:29 in Nashville) without being on the ice for a goal against or committing a penalty. That's pretty close to a perfect week for King Karl.
John Carlson http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png A four-game point streak covers up some of his defensive hiccups (and being on the ice for each of the goals the Caps allowed against the Sens and Isles, leading the team in giveaways, etc.), prompting Bruce Boudreau to remind everyone that Carlson's not Ray Bourque yet. I guess we have to settle for Brian Leetch for now.
John Erskine http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217737/down.png The Caps allowed five goals this week, and Erskine was on the ice for four of them. He's blocking shots and killing penalties well, but has been the Caps' worst regular defenseman at five-on-five.
Brian Fahey http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Played 492 minor league games before making his NHL debut on Saturday night... and that's where the fairy tale ended, as Fahey was on the ice (and at least partially responsible) for both Nashville goals in very limited game time.
Mike Green http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217725/cross.png Left Wednesday night's game and missed Saturday night's with a shoulder stinger and a 13-game goal-less streak, dating back to last season and including the playoffs.
Tom Poti http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217725/cross.png Missed all three games with an undisclosed lower-body injury. That's a lot of minutes to replace, as Poti is one of two Caps blueliners to be averaging more than 14 minutes at even strength, 2.5 shorthanded and two on the power play (Green is the other).
Jeff Schultz http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png Schultz leads the Caps in total ice time and shorthanded ice time and hasn't yet been on the ice for a goal against of any kind.
Tyler Sloan http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Got a sweater three times this week and played pretty much as expected... which isn't particularly good.
Forwards
Nicklas Backstrom http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Came alive on the scoresheet with back-to-back multi-point efforts highlighted by the game-winning goal against the Isles and won 61.5% of his 52 draws for the week (including 69.2% in the defensive zone). That we can say with a straight face that the top line still isn't clicking is a testament to how high expectations are for this guy and his linemates.
Matt Bradley http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217725/cross.png Skated just three shifts against Ottawa before being sidelined for the rest of the week with a lower-body injury.
Jason Chimera http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217737/down.png A point-less week is fine for Chimmer, but the minus-2 without much agitatin' or particular attention to defensive responsibilities isn't.
Eric Fehr http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png After a goal and an assist in the week's first 31:18 of game time, Fehr failed to point in the remaining two-and-a-half games, registering just four shots on goal over that stretch.
Tomas Fleischmann http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217737/down.png Picked a good time for his first point of the week - the game-tying goal in Nashville - and registered his first two hits of the season in the same game, and wasn't on the ice for a goal against all week. But his 8-for-34 (23.5%) in the dot  is abysmal and costing his team on a nightly basis.
Boyd Gordon http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png Got a well-deserved helper as a reward for his hard work on Fehr's goal against Ottawa and led all Caps forwards with 9:47 of ice time on the perfect penalty kill. And how about this little nugget - Gordon's eight shots on goal this week mark only the second time he's had as many over a three-game span since December of 2008.
Matt Hendricks http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Had a beauty of a helper on Fehr's goal, but he's not a third-line center.
Marcus Johansson http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217737/down.png Missed most of the Sens game and all of all of the Isles tilt after blocking a shot at the end of a penalty kill... a cautionary tale indeed (thankfully, week-to-week became day-to-day became one game real quick). His 3-for-16 week in the dot isn't pretty either, and it's beginning to look a bit as if he's pressing for that first NHL point.
D.J. King http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Scratched, played/fought/sat, scratched. Ho hum.
Mike Knuble http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217737/down.png Hasn't scored since opening night and didn't have a point all week. But once that top line finds its rhythm, the points will come.
Brooks Laich http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png Kept up his point-per-game pace with the overtime game-winner in Nashville and a couple of helpers for the week, and wasn't on the ice for a goal against (while bumping his plus-minus up by two).
Alex Ovechkin http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Has at least one point in each game so far this season, including a couple of goals and a couple of assists this week (including a hand in all three game-winners), but still not quite "there" yet, as only nine shots on goal, six hits and three minor penalties over the past three games would seem to evidence.
Alexander Semin http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Twice this week, Semin scored the Caps' first goal of the game, and after firing just four shots on net through his first three games of the season, he's had back-to-back three SOG games. He seems to be on the verge of a big game. Or two. Or three.
David Steckel http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Scratched against Ottawa, comes back with, well, not much against New York and Nashville, though six-plus minutes of scoreless penalty killing is always welcome.
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