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Capitals Ups and Downs: Week 6

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

Tom Wilson: Superstar
Tom Wilson: Superstar
Clyde Caplan /

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

Goalies Trend Notes
Braden Holtby Faced 108 shots in his three starts and turned aside all but eight of them for a save percentage of .926 on the week, and wins in two of the three games. He's now faced 436 shots in 14 games, fifth-most in the League, and with a save percentage of .922 he's inching up the list in that department, as well.
Michal Neuvirth Gave up three goals (and two in the shootout) against Phoenix Saturday night, but can't really be blamed for any of them and made some good saves to boot in his one appearance this week.
Karl Alzner Was on the ice for a handful of goals-against this week, including both Phoenix goals late in the third on Saturday. Continues to rack up the shot attempts, if not the offensive production to go with them, with another 10 shots on or towards the net this week.
John Carlson Promptly followed up his first goal of the season with his second goal in two games on Tuesday... and then with his third goal on Saturday. The 25 shot attempts he took this week trailed only Ovechkin and Green for the most on the team... but unfortunately he had a bit of a rough run defensively, as well, on for eight goals-against including five at even strength. Stability at one end should be sacrificed for production at the other, and so far he hasn't quite found that balance. Yet.
John Erskine Continues to sit on the shelf for at least another week. C'est la vie.
Mike Green Picked up just a single assist this week but has points in five of his last eight games to give him ten on the season, good enough to crack the top 20 in the League in scoring by defensemen. He also was on the right side of good (or close to it) in possession in each of the four games this week. That first goal still eludes him, of course, but with 27 shot attempts this week (11 of which came in last night's loss, including a whopping 7 shots on net) it has to be just around the corner... right?
Jack Hillen One Hillen-less month down... many more to go. Heal up, Jack.
Steve Oleksy Picked up his first assist in seven games in the win over the Islanders Tuesday night - good thing, too, because the Caps clearly rely on his offensive prowess. In all seriousness, though, nice to see him back on the scoresheet, especially when the only goal-against he saw this week was the first one scored on the Caps early in the first period Tuesday night.
Nate Schmidt Saw his red-hot offense dry up this week, with no points in the four games, but continues to be very steady on the blue line - that poorly-timed delay-of-game minor against Phoenix aside, of course.
Alexander Urbom On for no goals-against and two goals-for is a pretty good week for a defenseman. It gets better when one of the goals-for is scored by said defenseman. Congrats to Urbom for picking up his first goal as a Cap (and his first goal, and point, since December 23... when he scored against the Caps). Just try not to think about the fact that Urbom now has more goals on the season than Green, okay?
Nicklas Backstrom Picked up another four assists this week, three of which came in the rout of the Islanders, to bring him to 15 on the season. He's now tied with Sidney Crosby for second-most in the League in that department - and has a cool 20 points overall, which puts him in some equally good company League-wide. Super Swede, indeed.
Jay Beagle Poor Beagle has a new theme song these days...
Troy Brouwer Is on an every-other-game points kick, with a power play goal against Phoenix and an assist - his first of the season, amazingly enough - in the win over the Islanders. Was part of a much-improved second line this week, although they did get pretty abused possession-wise in the second half (and he did take a bizarre faceoff violation penalty, and a "whining about the bizarre faceoff violation penalty" penalty against the 'Yotes on Saturday).
Jason Chimera Has cooled off slightly since his four-game goal-scoring streak and had just an assist to go with a relatively quiet week for the newly re-signed winger. A rough go of it on Thursday night doesn't cancel out another week of strong showings alongside Ward and Grabovski, though, and he continues to be consistent and strong on the forecheck.
Martin Erat Still looks pretty good up with Backstrom and Ovechkin but "looking" good doesn't mean the production is there. Erat has just two points in the last nine games (both of which came in the same game against the Flyers)and is still waiting on his first goal of the season. He does have more shots on goal in the last five games than he had in his first 12 games of the season combined, though, so you have to think he's due to break through any day now.
Eric Fehr Just hanging out in the press box, singing backup vocals on Beagle's new theme song...
Mikhail Grabovski Picked up an assist in two of the four games this week to bring his season total up to 15 points, and has now trained us to expect exactly that from Grabovski (hence the even rating this week). Don't look now, but through 18 games he's just one point shy of his entire total from last season and is on pace to destroy his previous career-high from three seasons ago.
Marcus Johansson Finally picked up his first goal - and then his second - and added three assists to round out an improved week for the second line (despite some pretty awful possession numbers). That five-point outburst is impressive, tied with Ovechkin for most on the team this week, and more than enough to make us overlook the fact that he took 38 faceoffs and won exactly... eight. Carry on, Mojo.
Brooks Laich Another member of the second line to finally pick up his first assist of the season, Laich brought his point-total on the season up to a whopping three. He's looked better of late, as has his line, but he was part of the penalty-killing crew that gave up two power play goals against Phoenix (including the late game-tying goal) and got absolutely run around against Colorado possession-wise.
Michael Latta Added another assist to his total with a helper on Ward's goal Saturday night in Glendale. There's nothing flashy about his game, but along with Volpatti and Wilson he's helping to make the fourth line a tough and feisty one to play against despite limited minutes.
Alex Ovechkin Returned from a two-game absence to pick up right where he left off - scoring big goals and putting up big shot totals. He racked up three goals in the first two games of the week and added two assists, with an insane 42 shot attempts on the week, 19 of which hit the net. That wasn't the only thing making contact, either, as you can add a bruising ten hits to his line this week. Bit of a rough time in his own end in the second half of the week, but he'll always be an adventure at both ends of the ice.
Aaron Volpatti A fight, a minor penalty, no points, some energetic forechecking shifts... all good with the status quo.
Joel Ward Picked up the goal-scoring torch from Chimera this week, with a goal against Phoenix and another against Colorado to give him five goals in his last six games and seven on the season - one shy of his total from last season (in 39 games) and one more than his total from two years ago (scored in 73 games). That "third" line just continues to roll...
Tom Wilson His ice time has been minimal all year, but there's definitely been an evolution to Wilson's game as he builds confidence and learns the NHL game - so it was great to see him finally pick up his first NHL point against the Islanders on a beautiful assist. And it was even better to see him get his first NHL goal shortly after (followed by the traditional shaving cream celebration, courtesy of his captain). Add in an assist against the Wild and suddenly little ("little") Wilson has three points in four games. Not bad, rookie!

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