Capital Ups and Downs: Week 3

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

Goalies Trend Notes
Michal Neuvirth http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Left the game against Boston on Tuesday after allowing two goals on seven shots in just 12:42, but was apparently under the weather. Bounced back with a strong 47 seconds of relief in Beantown effort in Saturday night's OT win.
Dany Sabourin http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Something tells me that DSabs will know all the rest stops between D.C. and Hershey by the time this season is over.
Semyon Varlamov http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217725/cross.png Injured (again) after looking pretty good in both Bruins games.
Defensemen
Karl Alzner http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png After a rough first period (minus-2) on Tuesday night, Alzner settled down and went five periods without being scored upon before looking bad on Andrew Ladd's goal Saturday night. Has now gone 54 NHL games without a goal (and 15 games without a point).
John Carlson http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Through eight games, Carlson is the only Caps blueliner with more than one point (though he didn't have one this week), and, when pressed into the number one defenseman role on Saturday night, he responded with a plus-two rating. Still, Carly's play is providing observers with plenty of reminders that he's a rookie, and just a 20-year-old rook at that.
John Erskine http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png Erskine was on the ice for four of the ten goals the Caps allowed this week (two of which came shorthanded). But he dished out 13 hits and blocked nine shots, fought Milan Lucic and, most importantly, seemed to be the only Cap to care that Dustin Byfuglien ran his goalie, so he gets an up arrow.
Mike Green http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217725/cross.png Until he looks comfortable winding up and unleashing a slapper and skating a regular shift, Green is injured in our book.
Tom Poti http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217725/cross.png Played both Boston games (and was minus-one in each) before missing Saturday night's game with an undisclosed injury.
Jeff Schultz http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Sarge's streak of minutes on ice without being scored upon came to an end on Tuesday, and he ended up being on the ice for four opposition goals this week (three of which came at even strength), including Evander Kane 's game-tying tally late Saturday night.
Tyler Sloan http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Sloan averaged 14:45 of ice time per game - the lowest of any Caps rearguard who skated a regular shift - but was on the ice for a team-high (tied) four goals against. His secondary assist on Saturday night's game-winner moved him into a tie for second among the team's defensemen with one point. Ouch.
Forwards
Nicklas Backstrom http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217737/down.png Just a brutal week for the team's top pivot who was pointless, at least minus-one in each of the three games, and on the ice for four even-strength goals against (and not one Caps tally). No Cap has been on the ice for more even-strength goals against (seven) than Backstrom so far this season.
Jay Beagle http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217737/down.png Recalled to provide energy, Beagle had a terrible 2010-11 debut (by just about any metric) against Atlanta that featured a minus-one rating, a neutral-zone tripping penalty and not much else in just 6:37 of ice time.
Matt Bradley http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217725/cross.png Made it through a full practice on Friday, so he should be close to a return to the lineup.
Jason Chimera http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png With a goal and an assist on the Caps' only two goals through two games this week, Chimmer looked to be headed for an up arrow. But for a guy with his role on this team, he was a bit too docile in responding to Byfuglien plowing Neuvirth.
Eric Fehr http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png A five-game goalless streak is a bit concerning, but if he keeps shooting (three SOGs in three of his last four games), good things will happen, as evidenced by his shot-turned-rebound on the OT goal Saturday night.
Tomas Fleischmann http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Flash has gone six games without an assist - certainly troubling for a guy who is, at least nominally, a center. But he cashed in on that juicy rebound in overtime against the Thrash and hasn't been on the ice for a single goal against of any kind since the first period of opening night, so that's certainly something positive.
Boyd Gordon http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217749/unsure.png Healthy but resting. Um, OK.
Matt Hendricks http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Came up a goal shy of a Gordie Howe Hat Trick on Tuesday, and will likely try to complete the Gregory Campbell Hat Trick (the two have fought twice now in the past month) the next time the Caps face the B's.
Marcus Johansson http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png MoJo's first NHL goal was the Caps' only tally on Tuesday, and he was actually above 50% in the faceoff dot for the first time in his young career on Thursday. Missed Saturday's game with a minor hip flexor injury.
D.J. King http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Skated a whopping seven shifts (4:05 of ice time) on Tuesday and watched the next two games.
Mike Knuble http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217737/down.png Knuble sure got old, fast this summer, didn't he? He hasn't scored since opening night, is pointless since the game that followed, and has been a minus player in four of his last six games.
Brooks Laich http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png No points on the week, but a plus-two rating against Atlanta and 14 shots on goal for the week are hopefully a sign of good things to come.
Alex Ovechkin http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217737/down.png An 0-for-11 week on the power-play certainly isn't all AO's fault (even if he did skate 94% of the 20:11 of extra man time the Caps had over the three games), and pointless weeks will happen, even for Alex Ovechkin. But his shift length is a problem (still) and may be a sign of something more troubling... but we're not quite there yet.
Mathieu Perreault http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png The l'il dynamo provided the spark the second line had been missing as he finished his season debut against Atlanta with a couple of helpers, a plus-three rating, and a 64% win percentage on faceoffs. The question, of course, is whether or not he can sustain his high energy and level of play. Here's hoping he gets a chance to answer that question.
Alexander Semin http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png Last week in this space, we noted that Semin "seems to be on the verge of a big game. Or two. Or three." Well, this week saw a 10-shot effort on Tuesday and a hat trick on Saturday. Yeah, he's feelin' it.
David Steckel http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Still looking for his first point of the season, Steckel is winning draws and contributing little more (and that includes less-than-exceptional penalty killing, and a weak response to Byfuglien's bulldozing of his netminder).
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