Capital Ups and Downs: Week 4

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

Goalies Trend Notes
Braden Holtby http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png A three-game road trip with the big club - where he makes $2,972 per day in the NHL (versus $65k for the season in the AHL) - ain't so bad, even if Holtby didn't see any action.
Michal Neuvirth http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png Another stellar week (2-1-0/1.34/.947) featured Neuvy's first career shutout and, more importantly, gave the team the chance to win each of the three games. Since opening night, Neuvirth has allowed more than two goals in a game just once, and finished October 7-3-0/2.15/.926. Sounds like Rookie of the Month numbers to me.
Semyon Varlamov http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217725/cross.png Last seen in Hershey taking Dmitry Kugryshev to lunch. Killer.
Defensemen
Karl Alzner http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Clean King Karl committed his first two penalties of the season this week and was on the ice for a power-play goal against as well as the game-opening even-strength tally in Calgary. He's currently riding a 17-game regular season point-less (and 56-game goal-less) streak, and hasn't registered a shot on goal in his last four outings. Granted, that's not his game... but still.
John Carlson http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217737/down.png Since a four-game stretch during which he notched a goal and five assists, Carlson has gone a half-dozen games without a point, but continues to play big minutes (through a presumably minor injury)... and get victimized somewhat frequently during them. To wit, Carlson has been on the ice now for 11 of the 24 non-penalty shot goals the Caps have allowed, and was on for three of four this past week.
John Erskine http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png Erskine had a very strong game in Carolina (even finding his way onto the score sheet for the first time since March 25 with a secondary helper on the Hendricks tally), and followed it up with solid work in Minny and Calgary. For the week, Big John played 9:24 on the penalty kill without being on the ice for a goal against.
Brian Fahey http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Fahey is simply not an NHLer. In 22:10 of almost exclusively even strength ice time in the bigs so far this season, he's been on the ice for (and perhaps the proximate cause of) three goals against; that's three times as many as Mike Green has been on for in 193:43, which includes 26:12 shorthanded.
Mike Green http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png Speaking of Mike Green, that the team is dramatically better with him in the lineup (and healthy) is no great revelation - he was on the ice for six goals for this week and nary a goal against. But seeing his skill with the puck (on the two helpers in Calgary, most obviously) one is reminded of how truly elite that part of his game is. Oh, and the fact that he's one of three defensemen who has played five or more games, averaged three or more minutes on the PK and not yet been on the ice for a single goal against isn't bad either.
Tom Poti http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217725/cross.png Poti didn't travel with the team this week. Hopefully the rest did him good.
Jeff Schultz http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Sarge logged 15:05 of shorthanded ice time this week - more than half the time the team spent killing penalties - and wasn't on the ice for a goal against. In fact, he had a shorthanded helper on Backstrom's empty netter in Raleigh. Very solid work in a plus-two week.
Tyler Sloan http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217725/cross.png Solid in Carolina, much less so in Minnesota before being limited by injury in that game and missing Saturday night's tilt in Calgary.
Forwards
Nicklas Backstrom http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png With three goals and three assists, a plus-four rating, and a 59% win percentage on 59 draws, Backstrom put up the kind of numbers Caps fans are more used to seeing from him this week. But that "one that got away" - the puck he shot into Wild goale Niklas Backstrom's catching glove - still stings a bit.
Matt Bradley http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png "Scored" against the Flames to cap an up-and-down week as he returned to the lineup after missing five games with a lower-body injury.
Jason Chimera http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png A relatively nondescript week for Chimera... other than that he can now tell his grandkids that he once assisted on an Alex Ovechkin power-play goal (his first point with the extra man as a Cap, by the way).
Eric Fehr http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217737/down.png Goal-less in seven games (and with only one shot on goal in the week's first two games), Bruce Boudreau scratched Fehr in Calgary. Let's see how he responds.
Tomas Fleischmann http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png How does Flash not figure in the scoring when the Caps drop seven on an opponent? His assist-less streak is at nine games and he's no longer a center (for now). But if you want a positive, he hasn't been on the ice for a goal against since the first period of the first game of the season.
Boyd Gordon http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Gordon got back into the lineup on Saturday night and led all forwards in shorthanded ice time (5:09) for the perfect-on-the-night unit. The team is now 5-0-0 with him in the lineup, 2-4-0 without him. Just sayin'.
Matt Hendricks http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Scored the eventual game-winner in Carolina and dropped 'em in Calgary. Not a bad week.
Marcus Johansson http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217725/cross.png Out with an injured hip flexor, but sounds close to returning.
D.J. King http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Played against the Flames and did nothing.
Mike Knuble http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Knuble has gone ten games without a goal and only has pointed in one of his last nine (a two-assist effort in Raleigh earlier in the week). If he continues to find himself off that dream role skating on the top line with Backstrom and Ovechkin, look for his numbers to continue to disappoint.
Brooks Laich http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Picked up his first point in a half-dozen games against the Flames during a game in which he found himself as the latest contestant to play "Who Wants To Be The Caps' Second-Line Center?"
Alex Ovechkin http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png With a point (3-2-5) and a plus in each game this week, AO seems to be busting out of the early-season slump that has him on a 52-goal/97-point pace. Some slump.
Mathieu Perreault http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217737/down.png When you're Mathieu Perreault, you can barely afford to have any off nights if you want to stay in the NHL. He had two to start the week and now he's back in Hershey.
Alexander Semin http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png A three-point night in Calgary upon being promoted to the top line saved a lackluster week during which Sasha totaled just three shots on goal in the three games.
David Steckel http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png With a beauty of an assist in Carolina to start the week and a penalty shot conversion in Calgary to end it, we can hold our nose for the effort in Minnesota and give Steckel an up arrow.

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