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Capital Ups and Downs: Week 19

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

Goalies Trend Notes
Michal Neuvirth Was spectacular on Friday night, allowing just one-and-a-half goals on 45 shots against. Wait, what? Have Alex Semin kick it into your own net after you've made the save counts as a full goal against? That hardly seems fair. Anyway, Neuvi is 4-0-0/1.38/.961 since getting yanked in back-to-back games in the Sunshine State.
Jose Theodore The 3.29 GAA for the week isn't impressive, but the 3-0-0 record and .913 save percentage are more indicative of the week Jose had - just three of the ten goals he allowed came at five-on-five, and two came three-on-five.
Semyon Varlamov Stopped 26 of 30 starts yesterday in Hershey's win over the Baby Pens. Could he see a start in D.C. before the break?
Karl Alzner Played sparingly on Friday night after being recalled, scratched and scratched (and prior to being sent back down to Hershey); maybe we should rename this feature "Capital Karl Alzners," given how frequently he's up and down between Chocolatetown and D.C.
John Erskine Plus-four for a week that included a fight (which he won)... and some notably questionable on-ice decisions and/or poor execution.
Mike Green Returned from suspension with an empty net goal and a plus-two rating in two games in which he led the team in ice time.
Shaone Morrisonn Pretty solid week for Mo, whose most impressive recent stat might be that Sunday was his first minus-rating for a game in 14 games (hmm... there's that number again) and only his second since December 18.
Brian Pothier Speaking of plus-minus streaks, Pothier hasn't been a minus in a game since November 14, and that's his only game in the red (so to speak) since October 17. Sidenote: the Pothier hip check is one of my favorite semi-regular Caps plays.
Tom Poti One goal and three assists and a plus-four rating for the week, but had his worst game in a while on Sunday and was on the ice for seven of the 12 goals the Caps allowed in the four games (five of which came with the Caps down a man or two).
Jeff Schultz With a plus-three Sunday, Schultz has now been a plus in his last eight consecutive games, bumping up his plus-minus by 14 during that stretch. Throw in his brilliant outlet pass to Ovechkin on the Caps' first goal on Sunday (and the accompanying Pierre McGuire love) and a little jawing with the Golden Boy and, yeah, nice week for Mr. Nasty.
Tyler Sloan Sloan's failed clear that was intercepted by Sidney Crosby and deposited behind Jose Theodore to give the Pens a 1-0 lead on Sunday is precisely the type of play he can't be making in his limited ice time if he wants to see any increase in it.
Nicklas Backstrom A couple of goals, eight assists and a plus-six week highlighted by a one-goal, four-assist game at MSG has vaulted Nick into the top four in the League in points, assists and plus-minus (and he's 11th in goals). Reminder: he's not yet 23-years-old.
Matt Bradley Had a couple of assists on the week and sits a goal and two helpers shy of his career bests.
Jason Chimera Scored on a laser of a shot against Atlanta and nearly finished a two-on-one with Eric Fehr in the Pens game (blame a rolling puck for his inability to do so).
Eric Fehr Had one of his worst games in a while on Friday night and only four shots on goal in the week's first four games, but rebounded with a strong effort on Sunday.
Tomas Fleischmann Two power-play assists in Manhattan and a plus-one in each of the other games, but just one shot on goal for a week that ended with him getting pushed around a bit by Pittsburgh. Flash has now gone nine games without a goal (though he does have eight assists in that span).
Boyd Gordon Two-thirds of his goal production and a swing from minus-2 to plus-two on the season came this week, and he was only on the ice for one goal that wasn't scored 5-on-3... and it was a 5-on-4 tally. Good stuff, Gordo.
Mike Knuble A game-winner against Pittsburgh would've been up arrow-worthy on its own, but his other two goals, three assists, plus-seven and fight in defense of his captain make this Knuble's best week as a Cap.
Brooks Laich Scored the game-winner in Boston and added an assist on Friday night (one of two beautiful set-ups he authored), but the second line's chemistry seemed a bit off this week.
Quintin Laing Still sittin'.
Brendan Morrison One assist, minus-three (including minus-two against Pittsburgh) and 42.2% on draws. Better believe George McPhee will spend part of the Olympic break thinking about whether his team needs another scoring-line center.
Alex Ovechkin Seven goals (including the Caps' first hat trick of the season), three assists, plus-six and, most important of all, four more wins for the best player in the world.
Alexander Semin Yes, two goals in four games is a 41-goal pace. And the game-winner against the Thrashers was a beauty. But there were some danger signs this week, including six minor penalties. You've still got a week left before you're supposed to be checking out for Vancouver, Sasha.
David Steckel Plus-two on the week, and was on the ice for four goals against - two 4-on-5's and two 3-on-5's.