Washington Capitals 2-5 Ottawa Senators
Montreal Canadiens 1-4 Washington Capitals
Washington Capitals 4-2 Toronto Maple Leafs
New York Islanders 2-3 (OT) Washington Capitals
Alexander Semin: Another week, another string of great performances from enigmatic Russian Alexander Semin. In four games, Semin scored one goal, added three assists, and was a +3, playing a major role in bringing his team three crucial wins. There is no doubt Semin has been the team's best player over the past two months, and the 30 points in his last 32 games have been a testament to that. Had it not been for number twenty-eight, the Caps would be in a much, much worse position than they are now, and the Caps have a lot to thank him for.
Alex Ovechkin: At this point in his career, every game where Alex Ovechkin records a point is a good one. Every week he puts up more points than he plays games is a great one. This was one of those weeks. In his three games (he missed the Ottawa game with a lower-body injury), Ovechkin scored two goals, including the crucial overtime gamewinner against the Islanders, put up two assists, took 12 shots, and was a +2. The Caps need more of the same from their superstar captain if the playoff dream is to become a reality.
Marcus Johansson: Swedish center Marcus Johansson has been one of the Caps' most inconsistent players this season, but when he has been good, he has been great. This week, Johansson appeared in four games and contributed with one goal, his first since February 5th, and two assists. It was heavily speculated that the Caps might go after a center at the February 27th trade deadline with Nicklas Bäckström's return date from a concussion still uncertain, but if Johansson continues to play as he has of late, there will have been no need.
Michal Neuvirth: A player who, going into the season would have hoped to have had a lot more opportunities to prove himself, Michal Neuvirth has played sparingly for the Caps this season. With starter Tomas Vokoun sputtering, Neuvy was given that chance to prove himself this week, and, as always, he took it. After coming on in relief for Vokoun in the defeat to Ottawa and stopping 14 of 14 shots in just under 30 minutes of ice time, the Czech netminder went on to start three straight games for the Caps, stopping 80 of 85 shots for a .941 save percentage, racking up a 1.67 goals against average, and picking up three wins. When he's at his best, Michal Neuvirth is one of the best goalies in the league. This week, he was at his best.
Power Play: The Washington Capitals' man advantage unit ranks 19th in the league with a 16.7 percent conversion rate, and to put it bluntly, has not been very good at all this season. This week was particularly bad, as the unit scored just once from 17 opportunities (5.88 percent success rate) and scored as many goals (John Carlson) as it gave up. The PP needs to be better...
General Manager George McPhee: The first few months of the season made it brutally clear that the Washington Capitals needed to improve at the trade deadline. The top-six, puckmoving defensemen, and forward depth are all areas that have been reeling for the Caps this season, and help was needed. GMGM did not improve the team at the deadline. Now, the Caps are going to have to end the season and try to make the playoffs with the decidedly average team they have. The lack of ambition showed by McPhee is shocking.