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Capital Ups and Downs: Week 2

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

Rob Carr

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

Goalies Trend Notes
Braden Holtby Lasted less than ten minutes against San Jose (three goals allowed on ten shots), but bounced back with a tremendous winning performance against New Jersey that was even better than the 26-for-28 stat line would imply. All systems go for the number one netminder.
Justin Peters Was saddled with the shootout loss after the Caps battled back against the Sharks, then picked up a shootout win in his first start for the team against the Panthers. All in all, Peters posted a 1.49 goals against average and a .919 save percentage in his first 120 minutes of regular-season work in a Caps sweater (though it's worth noting that his results were a bit prettier than his play itself).
Karl Alzner A quiet-but-solid week of work for Alzner is a good week of work for Alzner, who (for now, at least) seems well-suited in his current role in the second pair.
John Carlson Picked up a pair of power-play helpers against San Jose... but also picked up a minus-four in that game and was on the ice for all five Sharks tallies. Carlson's start to the season has been a bit of a mixed bag, but he got better with each game this past week, a trend that hopefully continues going forward.
John Erskine With no playing time in sight, Erskine is likely pretty frustrated with his situation... so good on him for not running to the media with that.
Mike Green Had the best possession numbers on the team for the week, outscored everyone on the team at even strength (one goal, three assists) and has five points in four games since returning to the lineup. It's starting to look like 2014-15 will be a big year for Green if... well, you know.
Jack Hillen On the bright side, unlike when he was missing chunks of games in recent years, at least Hillen's healthy now.
Matt Niskanen Notched his first points as a Cap in Tuesday night's comeback, and has been on the ice for the team's last four goals. At this point (as will probably be the case all year), the stats don't yet reflect how good he's been.
Dmitry Orlov Man, when they get this guy back...
Brooks Orpik Was (like Carlson) on the ice for all five Sharks goals, and was also on for the Panthers' one goal (which he could've played better), which means that Orpik was on the ice for six of the eight goals the Caps surrendered on the week. Add in a couple of penalties that he took against the Kitties and not the best week for ol' 44 (his two-assist game against the Devils and solid possession numbers notwithstanding).
Nate Schmidt Took the penalty on which Florida tied Saturday night's game, one stand-out moment in an otherwise nondescript week.
Nicklas Backstrom Hit the 500-games milestone on Saturday night which afforded Caps fans the opportunity to reflect back upon what a terrific player Backstrom has been for the club. Unsurprisingly, the criminally-underrated Backstrom's week consisted of strong two-way play and a point per game.
Jay Beagle Sounds like he's nearing a return, which will make for some interesting decisions regarding the fourth line.
Chris Brown Scored his first goal of the season against the Devils and took a penalty in the same game, but still seems a highly likely candidate for demotion upon Beagle's return.
Troy Brouwer Scored the game-tying goal against the Sharks as part of an effective second-line, then found himself on the top line against the Devils and was able to chip in a couple of helpers in that one.
Andre Burakovsky Had his point-streak snapped at four games (after picking up an assist and a goal in the week's first two games), but continues to impress on and off the scoresheet.
Jason Chimera Found new life (and his first goal of the season) after Barry Trotz reunited the Chimera-Fehr-Ward line that was so effective at the end of last season. Now if he can just control his temper a bit and not take bad slashing penalties...
Eric Fehr Wherever Fehr plays, good things happen, be it as the first-line right wing or third-line center. We'll see what his next assignment might be, but here's betting it works out.
Marcus Johansson Who are you and what have you done with Marcus Johansson? The new-and-improved shoot-first Johansson scored twice this week (on the power play against the Sharks and at evens against the Devils) and helped the second-line create chance after chance. More, please.
Evgeny Kuznetsov With assists in the week's first two games and a shootout tally in the third, Kuznetsov is likely making the decision to keep him on the fourth line a tough one. But if the Caps want him to play center, that's where he's gotta be... for now.
Brooks Laich The bad news? Laich is hurt. Again. The "good" news? It's not a lower-body injury. Laich was playing well (most notably in his set-up on the Johansson goal against Jersey), so hopefully this is nothing long term.
Michael Latta Took a bad penalty on Tuesday night and was scratched for the next two games. Whether causation or correlation, Latta will find himself in a bigger battle for minutes with the return of Beagle and, soon, Wilson.
Liam O'Brien Wag that tongue, Liam.
Alex Ovechkin Had his goal-scoring streak snapped at three games (and five goals) on Saturday night... but scored in the shootout to seal the win for the home team. The Captain posted terrific possession numbers and continues to lead by example.
Aaron Volpatti Um... so... uh...
Joel Ward Potted a tremendous(ly hilarious) bank-shot goal against the Devils and assisted on the only score against the Panthers. Good stuff from the Big Cheese.
Tom Wilson May make his debut towards the end of the upcoming road trip before possibly being shipped down to Hershey where he can play more minutes and await a bigger role in D.C. That's the theory, at least.