Capital Ups and Downs: Week 1

USA TODAY Sports

The latest edition of our weekly look at individual Washington Capitals ups and downs.

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

Goalies Trend Notes
Michal Neuvirth http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Always the bridesmaid and never the bride, Neuvirth will get his chances this season, perhaps sooner rather than later.
Braden Holtby http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217737/down.png It's tough to hand out our first down arrow of the season based on one game playing a new system after a shortened training camp, but expectations are sky-high for Holtby this season, and six goals-against in sixty minutes ain't gonna cut it. Welcome back to the NHL, Braden - let's hope the re-acclimatization doesn't take long.
Defensemen
Karl Alzner http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Alzner logged just over 22 minutes on opening night, including nearly six with the Caps down a man, and was only on the ice for the 5-on-3 goal-against. Steady as she goes.
John Carlson http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png All three goals that the Caps scored on Saturday night tied the game. The other thing they had in common was that John Carlson was on the ice. (He was also on the ice for all three Tampa power-play tallies, but nary an even-strength goal-against.) Carlson finished the night with a helper, a plus-two rating and twice as many blocked shots (4) as anyone else in the game in 25 minutes played.
John Erskine http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png When the team dresses seven defensemen and you're not one of them... welp.
Mike Green http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Green led all skaters in ice time with 26:57 that included more than ten minutes of special teams time (six on the power-play, four-and-a-half shorthanded), and looked pretty decent - and healthy - doing it.
Roman Hamrlik http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Hamrlik managed a secondary assist in limited ice time, which is notable in that it took him until his 28th game to notch his first helper a season ago.
Jack Hillen http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/538577/ow.png "Week-to-week" with an upper-body injury after being run into the boards by Vinny Lecavalier just six shifts into his Caps career.
Dmitry Orlov http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/538577/ow.png Has been sidelined since the December 6 game he and the Bears played at Verizon Center, so at least the Caps' first home-ice injury of the season is out of the way.
Tom Poti http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217741/heart.png Playing his first NHL game in two year and a week, Poti picked up an assist in 13:20 of ice time. That's purple heart-worthy stuff... but the honeymoon will end pretty soon (if it hasn't already).
Jeff Schultz http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Even with Hillen missing half of the game, Schultz only skated ten shifts on the night. If Adam Oates places a high premium on defensemen who can move the puck up ice quickly and safely, Schultz may be in trouble (and looks to be a healthy scratch tonight).
Forwards
Nicklas Backstrom http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Backstrom (and his linemates) need to be better. They know that. They will be. (Of note, by the way, Backstrom took 24 of the game's 74 draws, playing in all situations... he certainly looks to be Oates's Oates.)
Jay Beagle http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png While the penalty kill was pretty poor on the whole, Beagle skated 5:04 with the Caps down a man and wasn't on the ice for any of the three Tampa power-play tallies. So there's that.
Troy Brouwer http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png A second-liner to start the season, Brouwer played nearly four minutes shorthanded and more than four with the Caps up a man, but was unable to find the same kind of mojo he had last year when he lit the lamp five times against the Bolts.
Jason Chimera http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Picked up the primary helper on the Caps' second goal and had a team-high three hits (tied with Brouwer). If the third line can pot a goal every night, the Caps should be in decent shape.
Joey Crabb http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Scratched for Game One as Oates went with just 11 forwards, but Crabb will get his chance soon enough (likely tonight, in fact).
Eric Fehr http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Also scratched for the opener, it might've been a nice little story line if Fehr got a shot at redemption against his former (and hometown) team tonight... but that doesn't appear to be in the cards.
Matt Hendricks http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Hendricks will look to stay perfect in the faceoff dot after going six-for-six on Saturday. That probably won't happen.
Marcus Johansson http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Only Poti was on the ice for as many even-strength goals-against (two) as Johansson, who did next-to-nothing with the 4.5 minutes of power-play time he was given.
Brooks Laich http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/538577/ow.png There's no timetable on Laich's return, but that non-existent clock no doubt speeds up with each Caps loss.
Alex Ovechkin http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Came out of the gates strong, firing four shots on goal in the first ten-or-so minutes of the game and blowing up Cory Conacher on the PK, but was otherwise a non-factor. Not worried. Yet.
Mathieu Perreault http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Perreault managed to cram a lot into the five shifts he got, and not much of it was good, as he was part of the first-goal-against-goat-rodeo and took a third-period tripping penalty (on which the game-winning 5-on-3 goal was scored). One wonders how effective a fourth-liner Perreault can be and how long a leash he has.
Mike Ribeiro http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png The Caps' most notable off-season acquisition was perhaps their best skater on Saturday, picking up a pair of helpers for his efforts.
Joel Ward http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png Ward skated 2:35 with the extra man - a mere 2:27 more than he averaged per game a season ago - and got a regular third-line shift. The hockey gods rewarded the Caps for finally properly deploying the winger with a pair of Ward tallies, one coming a man-up.
Wojtek Wolski http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png A low-risk/moderate-reward signing last summer, Wolski scored on his only shot of the game. Shoot more, DubDub.
X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Japers' Rink

You must be a member of Japers' Rink to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Japers' Rink. You should read them.

Join Japers' Rink

You must be a member of Japers' Rink to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Japers' Rink. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9355_tracker