Capital Ups and Downs: Week 11

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
Braden Holtby http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217737/down.png Holtby earned just one win this week, but it's hard to pin that entirely on him, as he was victimized by a Mike Green blunder against the Islanders and a sloppy team in front of him against the Flyers. He was also stellar in the shootout, turning aside both Sabre shooters en route to the Caps' lone win of the week. Still, he gave up 11 goals on 88 shots overall for a lowly .875 save percentage on the week and didn't look superhuman all that often this week.
Michal Neuvirth http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/538577/ow.png Hard not to feel a little sorry for Neuvirth, who once again found himself unable to play when his turn in the goaltending rotation came up - this time thanks to a high hit in practice about which the team is (thankfully) being uber-cautious.
Phillip Grubauer http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png For the third time this year, Grubauer got the call to relieve an ailing Michal Neuvirth. For the second time this year, the call came right before a Flyers game... luckily he wasn't shoved into duty this time around.
Defensemen
Karl Alzner http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217737/down.png Rough week for the usually-stalwart Alzner, who was on for five goals-against this week - all at even strength - including the game-winners against the Islanders and the Flyers. Likely just a blip (and definitely not all his fault) but a minus-four rating in three games is very un-Alzner-like.
John Carlson http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Picked up a goal against the Islanders and an assist in Philly on 6 shots (with another 6 shot attempts), all in his usual hefty ice time - but was a little too noticeable, and not in a good way, against the Flyers and had a couple of sequences (particularly on the Matt Read breakaway) that were more reminiscent of early-season Carlson.
John Erskine http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/538577/ow.png Could be back in the next few games, could be out for the rest of the season. Who can keep track?
Mike Green http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png If we've learned nothing else about Green over the years, we know that he can be an adventure - both good and bad. This week was no exception, as he scored two huge goals for the team (and added an assist) but also was the culprit behind one of the worse gaffes we've seen around the net this year. Which is saying something. But hey, at least he's never boring...
Jack Hillen http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Added another penalty to his resume in the Sabres game, one which led to a Buffalo goal in the dying seconds of the minor. But he did pick up his first assist of the season - hooray!! - against the Flyers, his point shot getting deflected past Bryzgalov for the opening goal in last night's game. If you're keeping track, every player for the Caps has now registered at least a point. Small victories, folks.
Tomas Kundratek http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/538577/ow.png Started the week on the IR, ended it back on active duty - but not game duty. Yet.
Steven Oleksy http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png On for two goals-for and two goals-against in fairly limited minutes, which isn't ideal, especially when one was the game-tying goal against Philadelphia. Still, he did sacrifice his knuckles (and a little pride) by allowing Jakub Voracek to challenge him to fisticuffs for some reason and in doing so drew some crucial power play time for his team.
Dmitry Orlov http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Was on for one Caps goal and one Islanders goal Tuesday night, and then found himself inexplicably scratched in two straight games. 'Tis a puzzlement.
Tom Poti http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/538577/ow.png Of the wounded blueliners, Poti is the only one who seemingly has no timetable for return. Which, if history teaches us anything, is rarely a good sign.
Jeff Schultz http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Emerged from the doghouse for the back-to-back games this weekend and wasn't that great in either one, mixing in some decent plays with plays that reminded us why he was in the doghouse in the first place. Was also victimized by a non-icing icing call against Philly that left him on the ice for the game-tying goal in the dying seconds of regulation - hardly his fault, of course, but that's life.
Forwards
Nicklas Backstrom http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Not quite as red-hot as last week, and was just about even in faceoffs (although he did lose a crucial draw in the final seconds last night that led to the game-tying goal). Still put together a decent run, though, and continues to look more like old Backstrom since being placed on the top line. With two points in three games, including a great deflection to open the scoring last night, Backstrom now has points in seven of his last ten games (ten points total) and played in his 400th career game against the Flyers - time sure does fly, doesn't it?
Jay Beagle http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Won 13 of his 17 faceoffs this week, including all 6 against Philadelphia, but was also on for three goals-against (including two at even strength) in limited fourth-line minutes. Never really seems to a have a bad game, per se, but we've come to expect more defensively... especially when the offensive side isn't his strong suit.
Troy Brouwer http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png Three points in three games for Brouwer, including the third shorthanded goal of his career (and first with the Caps) - a huge goal that got the Caps back into the Sabres game. If you're keeping track, he's now 6 assists shy of the career-high he set back in 2010-11.
Jason Chimera http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Oh, Chimmer, Chimmer, Chimmer. No goals and no assists - again - in a week where his team wasn't exactly getting shut out - again - is usually enough for a down arrow. But between the fact that it's become expected and the fact that he didn't take any penalties this week, he gets a reprieve. Just this once.
Eric Fehr http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/538577/ow.png Has some sort of mystical upper-body injury that morphed into a lower-body injury over the course of the week (or perhaps the team is just messing with all of us) and was placed on the IR - hopefully just to free up a roster spot for Kundratek, but one never knows.
Matt Hendricks http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Another quiet week for Hendricks - no points, just one penalty, no fights - but did break out the Paralyzer for a second straight shootout and had it work this time, so all is right with the world again.
Marcus Johansson http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png That top line magic is really something, isn't it? It's either that or not being concussed (or both), as Johansson continues to relocate his offense. He assisted on Carlson's game-tying goal against the Islanders and capitalized on a bad turnover by Claude Giroux for his fifth goal of the season - and his first PPG of the year. And don't look now, but Johansson's got ten points in his last nine games.
Brooks Laich http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Not surprisingly, it's been a bit of a slow start for Laich after missing half the season with a groin injury. Did pick up a couple of assists this week, including a beauty of a breakout pass to spring Green last night, but hasn't scored since his first tally of the year against Winnipeg. For now that's fine and perhaps a bit expected, but it'd be nice to see him regain his scoring touch again.
Alex Ovechkin http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217733/up.png Picked up two goals, both on the power play, extending his League-leading total with the extra man to 12 and added an assist against the Islanders. His point-scoring streak is now up to eight games (with twelve points over that span), his longest such streak since November 2010, and the 10 shots he fired on net - to say nothing of the seven that were blocked or missed - against Jhonas Enroth were a season high.
Mathieu Perreault http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png No goals and no assists on the week with just two shots on goal, but he is averaging his lowest ice time of his career and was on for the same number of goals-for (one) as goals-against on the week. He also stayed out of the penalty box, which is progress in and of itself.
Mike Ribeiro http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Had just one point on the week, a goal against the Islanders (albeit a pretty big goal to break the shutout) and was dinged for the overtime-winner against Philly after losing his man in the zone. Seems to have ceded his role as a faceoff man to non-center Brouwer, as well, no doubt at least partly because... well, he's not very good at them.
Joel Ward http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png A return to Philadelphia, the site of his last goal, reminded us of just how long it's been since Ward last scored - five weeks, to be exact. He has been on for more goals-for than goals-against, though, which is something, and he's not taking penalties or doing anything particularly bad, either, which is also something. Just would be nice if one of those somethings was a goal...
Aaron Volpatti http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png A healthy scratch for the first two games of the week, Volpatti was inserted back into the lineup against Philly - conceivably to add grit against a feisty Flyer team. His stat line last night? 7 shifts totaling 6:03 of ice time (and not one past the 11:43 mark of the third period), one hit, two missed shots and a seat on the bench for the one fight in the game. K.
Wojtek Wolski http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/217757/dash.png Got limited ice time in each of the week's first two games and did very little with it (perhaps in part because he was a second-line player on the fourth-line, but whatever), and then was exiled back to the press box on Sunday to up the toughness level. Of the many mysteries this season has held, the ongoing saga of Wojtek Wolski might be one of the biggest.
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