Capital Ups and Downs: Week 7

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

Goalies Trend Notes
Braden Holtby http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217737/down.png Goalies - especially rookie goalies - are going to have bad games like Holtby had in Atlanta (three goals allowed on five shots against in just 9:07 of work). That said, those nine minutes may have done more to speed up Semyon Varlamov's timetable to return from injury more than anything Varly's doing in Hershey.
Michal Neuvirth http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png The numbers don't necessarily sparkle (1-0-1/2.73/.919), but Neuvy was superb against the Sabres, terrific in mop-up duty in Atlanta, and solid against the Flyers. That said, his GAA for November is over a goal higher than it was in October (3.19 vs. 2.15), and his save percentage is still under .900 for the month, but it's a month in which he has gone 5-0-1.
Semyon Varlamov http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217725/cross.png Starts on back-to-back nights on a rehab assignment? See you soon, Varly. Real soon.
Defensemen
Karl Alzner http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Was only on the ice for one even-strength goal against this week (and two power-play goals against), and wasn't on for any of the five in the Atlanta debacle. That's solid work from King Karl.
John Carlson http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png With just one goal in his last 19 games and only two assists in his last 16, Carlson's offensive production has been a little disappointing. But like Alzner, he was only on the ice for one even strength goal against this week, so at least that part of his game is coming along.
John Erskine http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Erskine's offensive surge seems to have ended, but other than a minus-three in the Atlanta game, he wasn't on the ice for a goal against on the week, so his solid third-pairing play continues.
Mike Green http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217737/down.png No points and a minus-one in each game this week aren't very Green-like numbers.
Tom Poti http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217725/cross.png Still hurt. Yawn.
Jeff Schultz http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217737/down.png No Cap was on the ice for more goals against this week than Sarge, who was on for five of the 11 goals surrendered, all at even strength.
Tyler Sloan http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217737/down.png The minus-four (in just 12:47 of ice time) in Atlanta sticks out, as does the fact that he only got 9:09 of ice the following night against Philly (though he had a game-high five hits in those nine minutes). He's a fringe NHLer, so none of this should surprise.
Forwards
Nicklas Backstrom http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Backstrom potted a couple of goals this week, but only had four shots on goal. That's great for the ol' shooting percentage, but not so much for opening up opportunities for himself and his linemates. Any week in which Backstrom isn't on the ice for a Caps even-strength goal is going to be a tough one for the team.
Matt Bradley http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png With a goal and two assists for the week, Bradley now has four points in his last four games.
Jason Chimera http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png His goal on Saturday broke an eight-game scoreless drought, and his three assists were as many as he had for the season entering the week.
Eric Fehr http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217737/down.png The good? Saturday night's game-tying goal in the last minute of regulation. The bad? A minus-four week with no other points. Fehr now has just two goals and three assists in 17 games since October 11.
Tomas Fleischmann http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217737/down.png Flash responded to being healthy-scratched against the Sabres with a pair of minus-one games, but did seem to have some chemistry on Saturday night with Laich and Fehr.
Boyd Gordon http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png After the shootout loss to Philly, the Caps' record with Gordon in the lineup dropped to 11-0-1.
Matt Hendricks http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217737/down.png Had a big helper against the Flyers, but was minus-four for the week.
Marcus Johansson http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png Started the week centering the top line, then was a minus-two in Atlanta, but rebounded with perhaps his best game of the year against Philly, highlighted by his goal and confidence carrying the puck, as well as 4:20 of perfect penalty killing.
D.J. King http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Scratch, scratch, scratch.
Mike Knuble http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217725/cross.png Failed to register a point or so much as a shot on goal for the week before being knocked out of Friday night's game with a facial injury (that thankfully doesn't appear to be as bad as initially feared).
Brooks Laich http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217737/down.png Had three assists in three games, but was minus-two for the week and has scored a goal in only one of his last 16 games.
Alex Ovechkin http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217737/down.png Yep. I went there. Simply put, we've come to expect more from the greatest player on the planet.
Alexander Semin http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png One goal, three assists, minus-three, three minor penalties against the Flyers... pretty uneven week for Sasha.
David Steckel http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png Lit the lamp against Buffalo, was plus-one for the week and won 64.1% of his draws.

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