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Capital Ups and Downs: Week 20

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

Goalies Trend Notes
Michal Neuvirth Started the streak-breaking game in Montreal, but had to leave with a minor injury (and a 4.68 GAA and .857 save percentage for the game) that shouldn't prevent him from getting a good bit of work for Hershey over the Olympic break.
Jose Theodore Tagged with the loss that broke the 14-game winning streak and a hard-luck loss in St. Louis, Theo was much better on the week than his 0-1-1/4.11/.885 line would seem to indicate.
Semyon Varlamov Some rust is to be expected for a goalie making his first NHL start in more than two months, but Varly's performance in Ottawa (just 22 saves on 28 shots against) showed a lack of preparation that goes beyond the norm... at least in his coach's opinion.
Karl Alzner Minus-one in Ottawa and an uncharacteristic two minor penalties in St. Louis, Alzner really needs some stability - an extended stay in D.C. with a consistent, solid partner - to get his game on track.
John Carlson Looked a bit over-matched on Saturday in St. Loo, but re-adjusting to the NHL game after a few weeks away from it isn't easy for any 20-year-old with just a half-dozen games in the bigs under his belt.
John Erskine Followed up a minus-two night in Montreal with a brutal evening in Ottawa (paired with Tyler Sloan) and a healthy scratch against the Blues.
Mike Green One goal, five assists and a plus-three rating over the three losses is pretty impressive production from the Caps' top blueliner, who also led the team in hits on Saturday night.
Shaone Morrisonn Sat out the Sens game feeling a bit under the weather (which he should use as an excuse for a couple of the decisions he made in the St. Louis game).
Brian Pothier Minus-one in each of the Montreal and St. Louis games (his first minus games since November 14) and no points or shots on goal for the week scream, "I need a break." Luckily, Potsy gets one.
Tom Poti On injured reserve after a stinker in Montreal in which he was minus-two in just 14:09 of work, Poti's obviously another player who will benefit from the time off.
Jeff Schultz Sarge was on the ice for seven of the 15 goals the Caps allowed on the week, including a couple that came directly as the result of him losing his man (in overtime in Montreal and early in the Blues game). The goal in Ottawa was nice, though.
Tyler Sloan Do. Not. Want.
Nicklas Backstrom One goal, a pair of power-play helpers and a minus-two rating aren't the kind of production we're used to seeing from Nick (though winning 55% of a whopping 80 draws is nice).
Chris Bourque It's relatively difficult to be minus-two in just 12 shifts, but C-Bo managed it in Ottawa.
Matt Bradley No goals for or against while on the ice... and no chance to avoid Cam Janssen's thuggery. Thankfully, Brads will be okay.
Jason Chimera A groin injury lands Chimera on the IR.
Eric Fehr No points, minus-two and only four shots on goal in three games in which his ice time went from 13:43 to 11:38 to 9:44. Could the frequent resident of Chez Bow Wow be on the way out of town before the deadline?
Tomas Fleischmann Flash was minus-2, minus-3 and minus-1 in the week's three games (and was on the ice for nine of the 15 goals the team allowed in that span), is no longer a center (after going five-for-25 in the dot in the first two games of the week), and has the worst plus-minus of all the team's forwards who have played at least 29 games and the worst five-on-five GAON/60 of any forward on the team who has played ten games. I guess that all explains how he earned more power play time than Alex Semin and Brooks Laich Saturday night. Wait, what?
Boyd Gordon The Caps gave up four power play goals in 13 times shorthanded on the week (for a woeful 69% efficiency). The common thread in the four? Boyd Gordon was on the ice. And in his first game back at center on Saturday night, he was on for an even-strength goal against.
Mike Knuble A couple of power-play goals in St. Louis, and nine shots on goal and a plus-two rating for the week, Knuble now has 16 goals in his last 20 games. Rest up, old man, and pick up where you left off in March.
Brooks Laich Followed up his first career hat trick with three helpers in two games, but being on the ice for six of the 11 even strength goals the team allowed for the week is a bit worrisome.
Quintin Laing There's no greater disparity between heart and skill in the NHL.
Brendan Morrison Looked almost reborn over the last two games, dishing out a couple of helpers (and could've had more), winning 57% of his draws and posting a plus-five rating. Might it be enough for GMGM to go in search of a third-line center instead of a second-line pivot? Doubtful.
Alex Ovechkin No goals? Three assists? Plus-two? Who is this mortal, and what has he done with Alex Ovechkin?
Alexander Semin A hat trick of absolute snipes in Ottawa, another tally in St. Louis, an assist in each game and just one minor penalty along the way, reports of Sasha's mental departure for Vancouver were apparently premature.
David Steckel Raise your hand if you're comfortable with David Steckel as the third-line center heading into the playoffs. Yeah, me neither.