Caps Top Six: One Wonky Week

By Reed S. Albers

It seems that of all the sports team in the world, only the Washington Capitals could lose 3-0, win 3-0 and then lose 3-0 all in the same week. And people wonder why Caps fans are on pins and needles at times…

As the title says, it was something of a wonky week for the Caps.

For example, the week started with Alex Ovechkin continuing his hot play with an assist on an Alex Semin goal and ended with talks of a coming suspension for No. 8 after a hit on Pittsburgh’s Zbynek Michalek.

It’s the little things that drive fans batty and just about every little thing (shot on goal totals, shots hitting pipes and lackadaisical power plays) went wrong at times.

The result of those little messes and mistakes? A total of five points earned out of 10 and a feeling that the Caps missed a chance to create some distance in the Southeast Division.

But as Baltimore Ravens kicker Billy Cundiff will learn, life goes on.

The All-Star Game break is near and only one game is on the slate for the upcoming week (Tuesday versus the Boston Bruins). So here’s this week’s wonky Top Six and we’ll see you the week after the All-Star Game (you know, because ranking players on just one game would be kind of silly) for our next Top Six.

1. Alex Ovechkin – two goals, two assists four points

Ovechkin notched his first three point game of the season against Pittsburgh and could also add his first suspension in 18 months along with it. I’m sure that will make for some great in-game discussion during the All-Star Game.

2. Alex Semin – one goal, two assists

Semin took his first lazy stick penalty in what felt like ages on Sunday afternoon. That’s worthy enough of some praise, but so is his continued scoring. The question now is if his resurgence is enough to keep him at the trade deadline?

3. Mathieu Perreault – one goal, two assists

You had to figure he would make this list, given my last article had his name in the headline, but it’s well deserved. Perreault filled in on the top line for Marcus Johansson on Sunday afternoon and earned two assists in his place.

4. Dennis Wideman – two assists, even rating

In a week where a team is shutout twice by a score of 3-0, it’s a bit of an anomaly that one of the team’s top defenders didn’t finish with a minus rating in either of those games, but that’s what Wideman did.

5. Michal Neuvirth – shutout versus Montreal

For the younger Czech goalie on the team, it hasn’t really been a season worth bragging about. So his shutout against the Canadiens on Wednesday is a pleasant surprise, but don’t kid yourself Neuvy fan-girls (or boys), he’s the back-up.

6. Marcus Johansson – one goal, plus one

JoJo has built up considerable momentum in the wake up Nicklas Backstrom’s injury and filled in nicely as a No. 1 center to date, so hopefully his “illness” won’t slow him down at all.

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