Weeks like this stink for Top Six rankings because coming up with six players who are worthy of individual praise in a 1-2 week is a bit trying.
Let’s do a quick run through of the schedule (not that this is a fun trip down memory lane or anything).
On Monday, the Caps were embarrassed in a 5-3 loss to San Jose. On Friday the Caps earned two major points in a 2-1 win over the Florida Panthers only to piss them away against the “we’re totally trade deadline sellers, but somehow we’re winning and barely in the playoff picture” Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday night.
That’s your week ladies and gents; a blowout loss, a much needed win and then a win-nullifying loss the very next day. You can slam your head against your desk…now.
So here’s this week’s Top Six, where we’re handing out a few A’s for effort because it sure would be silly if we just left blanks in places player’s names were supposed to go.
If it’s another dud next week, perhaps we’ll consider a Not Top Six, but until then…
1. Alex Semin – one goal, two assists, three points
Since Jan. 22, Semin’s scored 12 points for the Caps and in a pattern. Sasha scores two points in a game, then one point, then nothing. Sometimes there’s a game between the scoring, but the pattern remains the same, two, one, none. Now if the team could just find someone to do that in reverse order, everything would be gravy.
2. Brooks Laich – one goal, one point, plus-one
There are a few reasons Laich makes the list this week, but the fact that he was the first forward not named “Alex” to score a goal this week is enough to earn some praise. Hooray for secondary scoring!
3. Dmitry Orlov – one goal, one assist, plus-three
The rookie has been tentative to let his slapper go since coming up from the AHL, but as of late he’s firing away his cannon shot a bit more. He had five shots against San Jose, two against Florida, but didn’t record one on net against Tampa Bay. #ShootDmitryShoot
4. Alex Ovechkin – one goal, one point
The Rock Star came up clutch for the Caps against the Florida Panthers, but other than that it wasn’t much of a week for No. 8. Regardless, he’s shooting more (16 shots total this week) and he remains the main threat on the power play.
5. Mike Knuble – one goal that didn’t count
Talk about guy down on his luck. First his coach tells him he’s being benched because of his plus-minus rating. Then after watching from the press box for three games, he comes back against the Florida Panthers and shows why he’s needed on the ice by cashing in a garbage goal that ultimately was ruled as goaltender interference. Can’t an old man catch a break?
6. Jeff Schultz – one goal, one point, plus-one
(Mr. McPhee, attached is a cover letter for other GM’s to review at the NHL Trade Deadline)
Hello potential trade partners, I am Capitals General Manager George McPhee. I’d like you to know that in a blowout loss to the San Jose Sharks, defenseman Jeff Schultz (who is on the trading block) scored a goal and finished the 5-3 loss with a positive rating. He was also featured in a recent Kings of Leonsis Top Six article. Send your offers now…