Capital Ups and Downs: Week 3

PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 20: Tomas Vokoun #29 of the Washington Capitals keeps his eye on the puck after a second period save against the Philadelphia Flyers at the Wells Fargo Center on October 20, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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

Goalies Trend Notes
Michal Neuvirth http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/538577/ow.png Expected to accompany the team on its upcoming Western swing and could get a game while out there.
Dany Sabourin
http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/569564/hershey-kiss.png With an NHL salary that's more than four times what he makes in the AHL, at least Sabourin was well-paid for his yo-yo impression when in D.C.
Tomas Vokoun http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png Shutout his former team, then summarily dismissed two of the League's best teams so far. That's a 3-0-0/1.00/.968 week and a 6-0-0/1.15/.966 line since the fifth goal he allowed in his first game of the season. Pretty, pretty good, that.
Defensemen
Karl Alzner http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Has just one game in the last six in which he has registered a shot on goal, but he's only been on the ice for two goals-against in that span (both at even-strength), so who cares?
John Carlson http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Picked up his first point since opening night on Saturday, and has been on the ice for half as many goals as Alzner (i.e. one) since.
John Erskine http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/538577/ow.png Sounds close to being cleared for contact, which is encouraging.
Mike Green http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png Busted out of a three-game pointless drought in a big way against Detroit and is now just two power-play goals away from equaling the five he had a season ago. Yes, really. Of the 15 goals the Caps scored last week, Green was on the ice for a team-high eight (tied with Dennis Wideman).
Roman Hamrlik http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Settling in a bit, Hamrlik potted the eventual game-winner in Philly and actually was Bruce Boudreau's top choice among blueliners to face the Wings' Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg. Interesting.
Tom Poti http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/538577/ow.png Welcome to the Tom Poti LTIR Comedy Moment...

Knock knock. Who's there? Tom Poti. Tom Poti who? Tom Poti's still on Long-Term Injured Reserve.

Thanks, you guys have been great. Don't forget to tip the wait staff.
Jeff Schultz http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Was on the ice for Detroit's 5-on-3 goal, marking only the third goal-against for which he's been on so far. Add in his primary helper against the Flyers and it was another solid week for Sarge.
Dennis Wideman http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png Like Green, was on the ice for eight Caps goals, and wasn't on for a single goal against in 61:06 of ice time. Wideman now has a point in each of the Caps' first seven games.
Forwards
Nicklas Backstrom http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png With five points in the week's three games and a five-game scoring streak, Backstrom's looking more and more like the Backstrom we all know and love (and opponents fear). The faceoffs are a bit troubling (he's at 42% for the year and won just 34% of his draws last week), but his six power-play points have been a huge factor in that unit's resurgence, so we'll take it.
Jay Beagle http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/538577/ow.png Downgraded from day-to-day to week-to-week with a sure-sounds-like-a-concussion-but-the-team-won't-say-it-is.
Troy Brouwer http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png With assists in each of the last two games and an increased role on the power-play, Brouwer may be coming around. But seven shots through seven games is less than anyone would have expected.
Jason Chimera http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Padded his goal total with an empty netter against the Panthers, but failed to register a shot on goal in either of the next two games.
Jeff Halpern http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png Won 80% of the 25 draws he took last week and hasn't been on the ice for a single goal-against since opening night. Hard to ask for much more than that from a fourth-line pivot.
Matt Hendricks http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png A three assist/plus-four week in which he also won five of his six faceoffs. Hard to ask for much more than that from a fourth-line wing.
Marcus Johansson http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png Two game-winning goals for the NHL's early leader in that category (with three already), leaving MoJo with more game-winners than a half-dozen teams. Oh, and the tally against the Wings was a 15-footer, for those of you who are interested in such notes. The faceoffs are a problem, though, in that he won just 34% of his draws for the week, 38% for the year, and just 27% (7-for-26) in the offensive zone on the campaign.
D.J. King http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Three games, three scratches, and one would imagine that it'll take an injury to get him back in the lineup the way the fourth line is playing now.
Mike Knuble http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png A pair of assists in a relatively quiet week for the old man of the bunch.
Brooks Laich http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Laich was on the ice for all three goals the Caps allowed last week and won just 38% of his faceoffs. But he had a pair of helpers, bled not once but twice against the Flyers, and did a nice job on Datsyuk, so no down arrow here.
Alex Ovechkin http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png Back-to-back multi-point games and a modest three-game point streak have to help the captain's confidence, but with just six shots on goal in three games (his fewest over as many games since last November), he's not "back" quite yet. The two-goal effort in Philly was also only Ovechkin's third multi-goal game since last October. How is that even possible?
Mathieu Perreault http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png Perreault's work on the fourth line has been a revelation, providing energy and creativity, to say nothing of production - he has three goals and an assist in his last two games and won 69% of his 13 draws for the week. And the cherry on top? Perreault hasn't been on the ice for a single goal-against yet this season.
Alexander Semin http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png A goal and two assists sandwiched a no-point/two-PIM game in which he somehow managed a minus-two rating in a 5-2 win. Sasha is as Sasha does.
Joel Ward http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png Scored against the Flyers and the Wings and hasn't been on the ice for a goal-against since the second game of the season. How can you not love this guy?

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