Capital Ups and Downs: Week 6

WASHINGTON - NOVEMBER 14: John Erskine #4 of the Washington Capitals celebrates with Tyler Sloan #89 and Matt Hendricks #26 after scoring the game winning goal against the Atlanta Thrashers at the Verizon Center on November 14 2010 in Washington DC. The Capitals won the game 6-4. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

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

Goalies Trend Notes
Braden Holtby http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Played well enough to win Saturday night in Buffalo. Unfortunately, his teammates didn't.
Michal Neuvirth http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217737/down.png If you're looking for the silver lining to a week in which the Caps' top netminder posted a 3.35 GAA and .896 save percentage, it's that Neuvy's third period GAA was  2.00 and his save percentage .938, helping him to a 3-0-0 record.
Semyon Varlamov http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217725/cross.png Stopped 21 of 24 shots for a win in his (first?) rehab start in Hershey. The Caps will be tempted to recall him sooner rather than later - let's see what they do.
Defensemen
Karl Alzner http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Struggled a bit in the Big Apple to start the week (though he did find his way onto the scoresheet for the first time this season), but scored his first goal in forever 61 games in Buffalo and was a plus-two for the week (assuming that he gets properly tagged with being on the ice for the Thomas Vanek game-winner). He'd probably have gotten an up arrow if he didn't get ratted out for coloring his 'stache.
John Carlson http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Only had one point on the week (an assist against the Bolts), but played more than 87 minutes overall and was only on the ice for two goals against... even if it feels like that Vanek goal should count double.
John Erskine http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png Mr. Movember had two goals (including Sunday's game-winner) and an assist, a plus-four rating and an early candidate for Fight of the Year this week. His two goals this week were as many as he scored in his previous 142 games, and his plus-four goal differential for the week was tops among the team's blueliners.
Mike Green http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png A couple of points (and a fight of his own) in Manhattan and a two-point effort on Sunday sandwiched a couple of point-less games for Green.
Tom Poti http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217725/cross.png Returned to the lineup against Tampa, scored a pretty goal... then promptly missed the next two games with what one would assume to be a recurrence of that nagging lower-body injury.
Jeff Schultz http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217737/down.png Schultz ended the week with an even rating but was on the ice for a team-worst six of the 13 goals the Caps allowed for the week (albeit three of those were power-play goals).
Tyler Sloan http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png With three assists in three games this week (he was scratched on Thursday), Sloan now has five points in his last five games and has gone nine games without a minus rating. You can't ask for any more from this guy.
Forwards
Nicklas Backstrom http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png His four-assist game against Tampa highlighted a six-point week in which he had a plus-five rating, was only on the ice for two even-strength goals against, and won 61.4% of his 70 faceoffs (don't look now, but he's in the top-20 in that category).
Matt Bradley http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png Had the primary assist on the game-winner against the Rangers, won a fight against Tampa, and had a helper on the winner against the Thrash.
Jason Chimera http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217737/down.png Two things not to love about Chimmer's week (other than the one-point-in-four-games): the extra two minutes he got in Buffalo for complaining about a call and the one hit total with which he was credited over the last three games.
Eric Fehr http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217737/down.png Sunday's assist was his only point of the week, which is perhaps not wholly surprising, given the linemates with whom he's been skating.
Tomas Fleischmann http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217737/down.png Weeks in which Flash has as many double-minors as points are never going to be good, and this one was no exception.
Boyd Gordon http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217725/cross.png Supposedly out a week with his latest injury. Bet the over.
Matt Hendricks http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png Scored the game-winner at Madison Square Garden and lit the lamp again back home on Sunday (to go with a plus-three rating).
Marcus Johansson http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png I'd say that he's still getting back up to speed after his injury, but that would imply that he was there before he got hurt. He wasn't. But he will be. And if Sunday's third period is any indication, it might be sooner rather than later.
D.J. King http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217737/down.png Skated just five shifts for a total ice time of 3:56 against the Rangers, but managed to be on the ice for a goal against (and didn't even fight Derek Boogaard, much to the chagrin of fight fans everywhere).
Mike Knuble http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Goals in back-to-back games to start the week (and end his scoring slump) were certainly nice, but he needs to be playing with more skilled linemates if his offensive production at even strength is going to be anything significant.
Brooks Laich http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Was outstanding against New York, but less noticeable the rest of the week.
Alex Ovechkin http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png With two goals and five assists on the week, AO keeps piling up the points. But with just four shots on goal over the last three games, you can tell that he's not playing his best hockey.
Alexander Semin http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png Four goals, four assists and a plus-four rating in four games. All those fours are just his way of honoring John Erskine.
David Steckel http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png Scratched against the Rangers, Stecks responded by leading the team in hits in two of the next three games, registering his first two points of November on Sunday (to go with a plus-three rating), and, most impressively, won 71% of his 69 faceoffs for the week.

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