Capital Ups and Downs: Week 11

WASHINGTON DC - DECEMBER 15: Brooks Laich #21 of the Washington Capitals celebrates with teammates after scoring in the first period against the Anaheim Ducks at the Verizon Center on December 15 2010 in Washington DC. (Photo by Greg Fiume/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 The streak-breaking goalie gets an up arrow - those are the rules. Neuvirth also rebounded from two rough first periods (combined five goals allowed on 20 shots against) with a pair of stellar seconds and thirds (stopping all 27 shots he faced).
Semyon Varlamov http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Bounced back from the shellacking at MSG with a strong 22-save effort in a 2-1 overtime loss to Anaheim, his first sub-3 goals-against performance in four games.
Defensemen
Karl Alzner http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png The goal in Boston was nice, of course, but so were the plus-1's in each of the week's three games and 53:17 of even-strength ice time without a goal against.
John Carlson http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png A couple of assists and a plus-two rating for the Caps' best defenseman. There, I said it.
John Erskine http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Got the big contract extension on Friday and responded with a couple of minus-1's over the weekend.
Mike Green http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217737/down.png On the ice (and in many cases largely responsible) for the first Anaheim goal, all three in Boston and the second Ottawa tally - that's five of the seven the Caps allowed this week -  and not mitigating those gaffes with offensive production, with just one point in his last 13 games (though it should be noted that he has been playing with a sprained MCL - thanks, HBO!).
Scott Hannan http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217737/down.png Partnered with Green, he was on for four goals against this week and now has been on for 14 of the 27 the Caps have allowed since he first suited up for them in Dallas. Hard to sugarcoat that stat.
Tom Poti http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png 5:55 of perfect penalty killing highlights an otherwise nondescript week for the rearguard.
Jeff Schultz http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217725/cross.png A healthy Sarge might help both Hannan and Green, so his return can't come soon enough.
Tyler Sloan http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217725/cross.png I'd almost forgotten he was still on the team.
Forwards
Nicklas Backstrom http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217737/down.png One assist in three games and no goals in nine are numbers that need to turn around for the Caps' top pivot. But winning 68.3% of his 60 draws for the week helps soften the lack-of-production blow.
Jay Beagle http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Got two games in, but didn't do much with the time he got, registering one hit and no shots on goal.
Matt Bradley http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png Breathed some life into the team in Boston with a goal and a fight, and had a game-high six hits Sunday night in front of his hometown crowd.
Jason Chimera http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217737/down.png Has gone 14 games without a point and took an atrocious offensive-zone penalty with 2:45 left and a one-goal lead in Ottawa.
Eric Fehr http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png On the ice for three of the six goals the Caps scored this week (including potting one of his own and assisting on against the Sens), and it could have been five of eight if two goals hadn't been (correctly) washed out Sunday night.
Andrew Gordon http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Created some havoc in front on the game-winning goal in Ottawa and had some chances earlier in the week.
Boyd Gordon http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217725/cross.png The team is 14-6-2 with him, 5-6-2 without him. Not exactly "Know Gordon, Know Win" any more, but they still could use him in the lineup.
Matt Hendricks http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Had a helper in Beantown and brought some energy in all three games, as per usual.
Marcus Johansson http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png The points aren't there (none in his last eight games) and the faceoffs are still woeful (three wins in 15 draws this week), but his penalty killing in Ottawa impressed and gave a glimpse of the real strength of his game.
D.J. King http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217725/cross.png Injured, and yet somehow the Caps have managed to survive in his absence.
Mike Knuble http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Bumped off the top line, Knuble turned into playmaker (over-passing his way to an assist) and penalty-killer (season-high 4:11) in Ottawa. Alrighty then.
Brooks Laich http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png Scored the goal against the Ducks, had a helper against the Sens, and probably turned in the most complete effort of any Caps forward for the week.
Alex Ovechkin http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217737/down.png Had single assists against the B's and Senators, but hasn't scored a goal in a half-dozen games and continues to turn in some pretty half-hearted efforts, defensively. The Caps have now had 38 consecutive power-plays without AO registering a point on one, and 84 in a row without an Ovechkin goal. Perhaps it's time to get him off the point, no?
Mathieu Perreault http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png Resurfaced after four scoreless (and more or less invisible) games to score two goals in Ottawa, the first of which ignited the comeback and the second of which won the game. And while he hasn't been consistently productive since being recalled earlier this month, he has been on the ice for only one goal against (and seven goals for).
Alexander Semin http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217725/cross.png The Caps desperately need November's Semin back in the lineup. December's can stay in street clothes.
David Steckel http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Four forwards - including Backstrom and Johansson - got more penalty-killing time than Stecks on Sunday night. If he's losing time there, his grasp on a spot in the lineup would certainly seem tenuous.

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