Capital Ups and Downs: Week 21

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

Goalies Trend Notes
Jose Theodore http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png Theodore was 2-0-2/4.27/.881 leading up to the Olympic break, but got back on track this week with a 2-0-0/0.50/.981 mark that featured a road win and a home shutout. He's now 12-0-2/2.38 GAA/.929 since January 13 and if the playoffs started tomorrow, he would have to be Bruce Boudreau's Game 1 starter.
Semyon Varlamov http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217737/down.png In his last two starts - his only NHL appearances since December 7 - Varly has given up ten goals, the most he's allowed in any two-game stretch of his young career. Another few outings like these, and the team might have to make the call to Hershey for the guy who is 4-0-0/1.68/.952 in his last six NHL games.
Defensemen
John Carlson http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png With ten NHL games now under his belt (and thus a year towards free agency burned), Carlson would appear to be in D.C. to stay. He had his good moments and his not-so-good moments this week. In other words, he's a rookie.
Joe Corvo http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Notched his first point as a Cap on Saturday night, but don't be surprised to see his scoring rate drop off the table in D.C. - he averaged 4:38 of power-play time in Carolina, but just 2:27 of extra-man time in his first two games in Washington. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but something to keep in mind.
John Erskine http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Erskine played on Wednesday in Buffalo, but with the arrival of Corvo and Carlson has been relegated to the seventh defenseman role, which is where he should be.
Mike Green http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Green notched the game-winner against the Sabres and added a couple of assists the following night against Tampa. None of the three points, however, came on the power-play, a unit that has struggled out of the break to the tune of 0-for-8 in five-on-four situations.
Milan Jurcina http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217725/cross.png Welcome back, Juice - see you in April.
Shaone Morrisonn http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Plus-five with 11 hits and five blocked shots for the week, but had one of the worst turnovers in the history of earth on Saturday night.
Tom Poti http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Partnered with Corvo, expect Poti to continue to get big minutes in tough situations.
Jeff Schultz http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Two helpers in Buffalo, plus-two against Tampa, Schultz now has a career-high in points (with 19) and the sixth-most productive (point-wise) season of any Caps blueliner not named Mike Green since the lockout.
Tyler Sloan http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Eighth on the depth chart with Jurcina on the shelf, it's hard to envision Sloan getting many more minutes the rest of the way.
Forwards
Nicklas Backstrom http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217737/down.png One heroic penalty killing shift can't overcome a one-assist week. Don't be afraid to shoot, Nicky.
Eric Belanger http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Brought to D.C. to be the third-line center, has already found himself bumped up to the second line and responded with a goal, his first since January 23.
Matt Bradley http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217737/down.png Scratched on Wednesday, struggled a bit on Saturday and hasn't scored a goal since January 19. Suddenly those career highs that seemed certain to be broken may be a stretch, as playing time dwindles.
Jason Chimera http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png One goal and a plus-three rating upon returning from a lower-body injury will work.
Eric Fehr http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png Scored the first goal in each of the last two games (and was initially credited with the game's first tally in Buffalo as well) and continues to produce in limited ice time while bumping his plus/minus up to plus-17.
Tomas Fleischmann http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Flash had beautiful assists on a pair of game-winning goals this week (Green's in Buffalo and Fehr's against the Rangers), but won only two of his ten faceoffs on Saturday after being shifted back to center for the game. Can he stick in the middle with such struggles?
Boyd Gordon http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png A length-of-the-ice bank-shot empty netter on Wednesday was followed up with a strong game Thursday (one assist, 86% faceoff win percentage)... and a healthy scratch Saturday that was most certainly not merit-based. Such is life with 15 NHL forwards on the roster.
Mike Knuble http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png Scored twice on Thursday and now leads the League in shooting percentage.
Brooks Laich http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Two goals and three assists away from tying career highs and, at plus-11, seems likely to be on the right side of zero in that metric for the first time in his career.
Quintin Laing http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Pushed further down the depth chart by this week's acquisitions, Q's job remains similar - work hard at practice and shame others into following suit.
Brendan Morrison http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217737/down.png A couple of poor efforts had BMo watching Saturday night's game from the press box. Apparently that two-week vacation didn't help as much as we'd hoped.
Alex Ovechkin http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217737/down.png Ovechkin has now gone 381:35 of Caps' game time (i.e. six-plus games) without a goal, but with as many shots on Saturday night (seven) as he had in his previous two games combined, seems to be on the verge of busting through. When he does, watch out.
Alexander Semin http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217737/down.png Like his higher-profile countryman, Semin seems to be picking up where he left off in the Olympics... which is not a good thing.
David Steckel http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Steckel will need to score four goals and add five helpers to equal his 2008-09 numbers, something we'd all have likely wagered heavily on him being able to do back in October.
Scott Walker http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png Score two goals in your debut, flash a toothless smile, become an instant fan favorite.
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