Capital Ups and Downs: Week 15

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

Goalies Trend Notes
Michal Neuvirth http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Continues to warm the bench (though he did get a period in L.A.), but with back-to-back games coming up this week one would think he'd see at least a little action... right?
Tomas Vokoun http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png The hot hand continues to be hot, as Vokoun has now started in nine straight games and won seven of them (including earning his second shutout of the season over the Penguins). And only once in those seven wins has his save percentage dipped below .946.
Defensemen
Karl Alzner http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png Finished the week a plus-one, blocked ten shots... and oh yeah, picked up his first NHL fight against the ever-charming Steve Downie in a chippy Tampa game Friday night. All in a week's work for our resident goon.
John Carlson After a week in which he was a minus in four straight games, Carlson rebounded slightly this time around, finishing even or on the good side of zero in three of the four games this week. That he was on for almost as many goals-for (4) as goals-against (6) is a slight improvement, but he also hasn't picked up a point in eight games - his longest pointless streak in a year.
John Erskine http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png The doghouse just got big enough for two, as Erskine sat out three of four games this week in favor of a kid making his NHL debut.
Mike Green http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/538577/ow.png Went from day-to-day to "not long-term" to LTIR to surgery and a 4-6 week recovery looming... and some point along the way we went from "get well soon, Green" to "just get well".
Roman Hamrlik http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Continued to quietly do his job well, as he was on the ice for just two goals-against, and was a steadying veteran influence on Kundratek. He did, however, fire the puck over the glass and was sitting in the box when Tampa scored a power play goal. Anyone else just have deja vu?
Tomas Kundratek http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Was thrown right into the fire in his NHL debut against the Penguins and saw minimal ice time... but didn't have any glaring mistakes and managed to not be on the ice for a goal-against.
Dmitry Orlov http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png He's gained a bit of a reputation for his shots not quite making it to the net, but you have to give the kid credit - when he does, he's efficient. In fact he had just two shots on goal this week and one of them went in, earning Orlov his first career NHL goal, a game-winner against the Hurricanes Sunday evening.
Tom Poti http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/538577/ow.png Wasn't on the ice for any goals-against this week. Or last week. Or the week before. So... silver lining?
Jeff Schultz http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Sounds like Sarge is getting a little tired of sharing nachos with Erskine in the pressbox. Hard to blame him.
Dennis Wideman http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png Eight shots on goal, two assists, and his first-ever nomination to the All Star Game - yup, that's a good week for the League's fifth-highest scoring defenseman.
Forwards
Nicklas Backstrom http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/538577/ow.png Continues to sit out with aftershocks from the Rene Bourque hit, with no timeline for his return. Which isn't exactly what you want to hear when dealing with head injuries.
Jay Beagle http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Cracked the eight-minute mark for the first time in Hunter's tenure (and did so twice this week) but has been fairly quiet otherwise, chipping in with a hit here or a penalty there and not much else.
Troy Brouwer http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png Had a beast of a physical game against the Penguins, credited with 11 hits, and followed it up with a beast of a game in general when he picked up his first career hat trick against the Bolts. Those three goals bumped him up to 14 on the season, second-most on the team, and with a half a season to go, just eight shy of his career-high.
Jason Chimera http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png Took on Willie Mitchell after Mitchell took out Joel Ward last Monday night, scored the only goal of the Pittsburgh game in typical Chimera fashion to give him 14 on the year, and added an assist on Orlov's game-winner later in the week. His three shots against Carolina were the most he's had in a single game in almost a month, breaking a streak of nine games in which he failed to register more than a single shot on goal.
Cody Eakin http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Got the call mid-week and managed to not be on the ice for any of the seven goals scored in the Tampa game... but hasn't done a whole lot in his once again limited ice time (although he did register the team's first shot on goal against Carolina - five minutes in - Sunday evening).
Jeff Halpern http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Picked up two assists, including a beautiful pass to send Chimera against the Pens, and was a dominant 31-for-52 in faceoffs this week (including an insane 10-for-12 against Pittsburgh). Not much else you can ask from a third-/fourth-liner, although you'd probably ask that he not be on for three of the nine goals-against, including two on the penalty kill.
Matt Hendricks http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png Since we lit him up a bit for not doing much of anything (including one of the things that got him to the show in the first place) he's had two fights, shown some extra physicality in protecting his goaltender and had a monster of a game against one of the team's biggest rivals. So yeah, we're taking all the credit. You're welcome.
Marcus Johansson http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png Continued to skate alongside Ovechkin and Semin on the top line and picked up two goals and two assists this week, doubling his goal total from the previous twenty-five games combined in one fell swoop.
Mike Knuble http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png After an eleven-game pointless streak, Knuble now has assists in two of his last four. Could be that slow-starter aspect to his game, could be a product of getting regular time in the top six... it's not much, but it's an improvement, and he's shown some decent chemistry with Laich and Brouwer (even when he's getting his pocket picked by a certain diminutive Tampa forward).
Brooks Laich http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Had a rough start to the week, as he was victimized for three of LA's five goals Monday night and finished the game a team-low minus-two, but he went on to snap an eight-game pointless streak with two assists against the Bolts, and almost ended a nine-game goalless streak against the Canes... damn dirty refs.
Alex Ovechkin http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png A goal, an assist, thirteen shots on goal, numerous hits of the normal and bone-crushing variety, and his fifth straight invite to the ASG... that's still not enough from El Capitan, but the signs are there, even if the points aren't.
Mathieu Perreault Saw less ice time in the first two games of the week than most forwards had in one game (and wasn't all that noticeable aside from a shift against Pittsburgh in which he and the rest of the fourth line were penned into their own zone), then found himself a healthy scratch the rest of the week.
Alexander Semin http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png With a goal against Carolina and assists against Tampa and LA (a game in which he was just one of two Caps to finish with a positive plus-minus rating), Semin now has fourteen points in his last fifteen games... after picking up just four in the fifteen games prior. He's likely not going to finish with anywhere near the point totals he's accumulated in past years, but it'd be great for the team if that finish was strong nonetheless.
Joel Ward http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Still isn't setting the world on fire offensively - or even creating a mild, friction-induced spark for that matter - but he did earn a hard-working assist on Chimera's goal against Pittsburgh and now has two points in his last five games. Which, believe it or not, is an improvement.

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