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Capital Ups and Downs: Week 6

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

Billy Hurst-USA TODAY Sports

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

Goalies Trend Notes
Braden Holtby Faced 54 shots in his two appearances and turned aside all but three of them, none of which were particularly good goals and one that was entirely on him. And therein lies the story of the season for Holtby so far. When he's been good, he's been very, very good, and when he's been bad, well... this happens.
Justin Peters Wasn't particularly solid against the Blues (although given the way his team started the game, one could argue he was the reason they weren't down by more than one after the first period), and even threw in a Holtby-esque turnover of his own to keep things interesting. Because we needed something to do that.
Karl Alzner Got absolutely undressed by Jaden Schwartz on the Blues' second goal Saturday night, but had an otherwise quiet week
John Carlson Didn't pick up a point in any of the three games (the first time he's gone at least three games this season without getting on the scoresheet), and that's not great considering the team was struggling to score. On the flip side, however, he was only on for two goals-against - and both of them were goalie blunders.
John Erskine Has entered the first stage of rehab after having surgery on his neck, but there doesn't seem to be a timetable for his return.
Mike Green Picked up two assists on the week, one on the power play and one at even strength, which moves him into a multi-player tie for 7th-best among NHL defensemen. That's all well and good, but after a torrid start to the season, he's now gone three and a half weeks without a goal.
Jack Hillen With 16 straight games as a healthy scratch (and counting), have to wonder what the plan is for Hillen if and when Dmitry Orlov comes back...
Matt Niskanen Had a little bit of trouble in front of his own net late in the second period Tuesday night, which translated into Columbus's second goal, but like Alzner had a relatively quiet week...other than that crushing body check he took from teammate Tom Wilson Saturday night, of course. Ouch.
Dmitry Orlov Is on the road with the boys and skating, which is good, and perhaps that conditioning stint with Hershey isn't too far off? Maybe? Possibly?
Brooks Orpik As was the case with his defensive partner, Orpik's only goals-against blemishes were pretty much entirely the fault of his netminders - and he actually posted the team's best Corsi rating in the loss to New Jersey on Friday night, which was something of a surprise. Y'know, in between having the team's lowest Corsi in Tuesday's and Saturday's games.
Nate Schmidt Finally got on the scoresheet with an assist on Tuesday night... and then followed it up with his second assist of the season two games later.
Nicklas Backstrom His two assists Tuesday night give him 12 on the season, which leads the team by a healthy margin (and puts him in a tie with Ovechkin with 16 points). He followed that up with two pointless games, but we know Backstrom never goes quiet for too long... and it's not like he doesn't have other stuff on his mind right now.
Jay Beagle Had a pretty decent return to the top line (relatively speaking) Tuesday night with a beauty of an assist on Ovechkin's second goal, followed it up with an inconspicuous outing against the Devils... and then was mercifully returned to his rightful place on the fourth line for Saturday's loss to the Blues.
Troy Brouwer His assist on Johansson's first goal against the Jackets was beautiful in an ugly sort of way, as he won the battle in the slot to get the puck to his linemate however he could. A nice, hard-working way to get a point.
Andre Burakovsky Picked up two assists on Tuesday night (moving him into a tie for second place among rookie scorers) and was given some time on the top line on Friday in an attempt to spark the team's offense - a sign of just how much confidence his coach has in him right now.
Jason Chimera Whatever magic he and Ward generated last year seems to have run out, as Chimera is two weeks removed from his last point - and is stuck on two total for the year. Add in the fact that he continues to rack up the penalties (with another two minors this week), and the start of the season is not going all that well for Chimera.
Eric Fehr Quiet, quiet week for Fehr... but hey, at least he played in all three games. Hooray?
Marcus Johansson Added two more goals to his already impressive numbers to start the season, as he, Burakovsky and Brouwer continue to form one of the team's more consistent trios. He's now not only tied for the team lead in that department with eight, but also leads all Caps with seven even-strength goals (and is tied with a handful of others for the fourth most in the League).
Evgeny Kuznetsov No points, but decent possession numbers and some power-play time would imply that he'll be on the scoresheet more often in the future... that is, if he can just get some decent linemates.
Brooks Laich Earlier this week, GM Brian MacLellan noted that the Caps need to "quit doing these false starts" with Laich - he needs to be 100%, or not play. Hear, hear.
Michael Latta Continues to provide little bursts of energy on the fourth line, and wasn't on for any goals-against this week (although he did get run around a bit, possession-wise). All in all, he's doing what's asked but not much else.
Liam O'Brien That lower-body injury seems to be lingering a little bit. Not great news for him, but hopefully he'll be healthy and back in the lineup soon enough... the Hershey lineup, that is.
Alex Ovechkin Snapped a three-game goalless streak with a pair of goals against the Blue Jackets... and promptly started a new streak in the two games that followed. It's been a bit of a bumpy start for the captain, who has yet to find a consistent scoring touch this year.
Aaron Volpatti Met with a specialist about his neck and will meet up with the team in Arizona and then... who knows?
Joel Ward His seeing-eye goal that dribbled through Brian Elliott Saturday night was the Caps' lone tally of the game, and snapped a three-game pointless streak for Ward.
Tom Wilson After missing the first two games of the week with that nagging lower-body injury, Wilson returned to the lineup - and the top line - against the Blues, and was easily the best player on the ice for the Caps. Granted, that's a low bar, but his feistiness and willingness to stick up for his linemates earned him special praise from his coach (and from us). Now if he can get his offensive talents to shine through as much as that pugilistic out.