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Capitals Ups and Downs: Week 13

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

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

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

Goalies Trend Notes
Braden Holtby Manned the end of the bench for all three games this week - for now, it seems, Adam Oates is going to ride the hot hand and Holtby ain't it. That said, if anyone is going to bounce back eventually, it's Holtby. Don't count him out just yet (but we didn't have to tell you that, did we?).
Philipp Grubauer Faced down 86 shots in the three games this week (including 40 on Friday night alone) and gave up just six goals for a fairly impressive .930 save percentage. That brings his nine-game total up to .937, although he's still looking for that elusive first shutout... what a slacker.
Michal Neuvirth It's not just that he's not playing; these days he's not even dressing. It's hard to argue too much considering how Grubauer has performed lately, but at some point the Caps need to make a decision - because three-goalie situations rarely end well.
Karl Alzner On for two goals-against (including the late game-winning tally by the Ducks) but finished even for the week and had fairly decent possession numbers in the three games. Strange to see him held without a shot against the Ducks and Rangers - and strange that it's strange - but more than made up for it with four in the Caps' shotfest Sunday night.
John Carlson Thanks to his presence on the power play, Carlson once again was in the thick of things this week, on for three goals-against and two goals-for in the three games. Picked up an assist against the Ducks, which amazingly was just his second assist in over a month.
John Erskine Somehow ended up being on the ice for just one goal-against all week... but it was Buffalo's only tally last night, and he earned every bit of the minus he picked up on the play. Also rang in with the lowest FF%, and tied for the lowest CF% with his D partner Oleksy, among all Caps' defensemen against the Rangers Friday night.
Mike Green Wasn't great against the Ducks but bounced back nicely after the holiday break with a couple of good performances against the Rangers (despite less-than-great possession stats) and Sabres (where he was dominant in that department). Green was much more active in the offensive zone in the two weekend games, picking up his third goal of the season against the Rangers (and looking like he could have had at least one more) while generating nine shots on or towards the net Sunday in Buffalo. Could the old Mike Green be back? Here's hoping...
Jack Hillen Nearing the three-month mark of a four-to-six-month recovery period, so... there's that.
Steve Oleksy Certainly isn't benefiting from a regular diet of Erskine-adjacent minutes, but he did pick up an assist on Backstrom's goal against the Rangers - which was to be expected, since almost a third of his points over the course of his career have come against the Blueshirts.
Dmitry Orlov Like Green, Orlov was on for a couple of goals against the Ducks on Monday... and like Green, he returned from break looking refreshed and more active offensively, picking up an assist on 52's goal Friday night (although he was one of three players to not register a single shot on goal against the Sabres).
Alexander Urbom Continues to sit out - and given the team's current defensive "prowess", that's pretty telling.
Nicklas Backstrom Continued a run of solid play with an assist on Monday and a goal and an assist on Friday, and for the week the Caps attempted 53 shots at five-on-five while allowing just 27. Super Swede is super.
Jay Beagle Was out-Corsi'd 9-0 at five-on-five against the Rangers, but the rest of his week was better. Oddly enough, Beagle didn't get a second of penalty-killing ice time in the week's other two games... which fits in on this fourth line, I suppose.
Troy Brouwer Assisted on both goals Caps against Anaheim, scored the team's only goal against Buffalo and even won 13 of the 17 draws he took on the week, so a pointless night against New York that snapped a modest four-game point streak hardly moves the needle back in the other direction. He now has points in six of his last seven games (two goals, five assists) and four of those seven points - wait for it - came at even strength.
Jason Chimera Had a couple of rough nights in terms of possession before heading to Buffalo (where just about everyone got healthy), and didn't produce any offense.
Martin Erat Had a nice helper on Green's power-play tally against the Rangers (but got killed at five-on-five in that game), and couldn't get anything going for the third line in a week the team could've used some tertiary scoring.
Eric Fehr Potted the game-winner against New York to run his point streak to three games and had six shots on goal in that game, his most since December 28, 2010. The Renaissance Fehr continues...
Mikhail Grabovski Only two more days until the Caps can sign Grabo to a contract extension, you guys!
Marcus Johansson Is it cold in here or is it just Marcus Johansson? Held without a point in his last four games (after a five-game scoring streak), MoJo's mojo has been a no-go, as he has just one even-strength point since November 15 (19 games).
Brooks Laich He's back! And... he's hurt. Who could've seen this coming?!
Alex Ovechkin Ovechkin fired 24 shots on goal in three games (including 12 in Buffalo), and the Caps had a decisive edge in shot attempts when he was on the ice at fives for the week... but it's hard not to ding him for a week in which he failed to get on the scoresheet (and missed a shootout attempt).
Aaron Volpatti Against the Sabres, the Caps took 59.6% of the games five-on-five shot attempts... and yet were at 43.8% with Volpatti on the ice. Granted, that's just one game, but here are his CF% for the nine games leading up to Sunday: 31.6, 53.8, 8.3, 17.6, 50.0, 0.0, 23.1, 7.7, 23.1. Dude's just not bringing a lot to the table these days...
Joel Ward See Chimera - when the third line's not producing offense, not shutting down opponents' top lines (they're the trio that allowed the late game-winner against Anaheim), and getting worked over in possession, it's not a good thing.
Tom Wilson Can't keep giving this kid down arrows - he's doing less-than-nothing with the limited minutes he's getting (though his two shots on goal against the Sabres doubled his output from the previous 17 games)... and that's gotta be the current expectation.