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New coach, same tactics: Semin might be healthy scratch tonight

Dec 3, 2011, 10:33 AM EDT

Alexander Semin Getty Images

Dale Hunter is finding that life coaching the Capitals can be tricky handling some of their stars. For example, Alexander Semin.

Stephen Whyno of The Washington Times reports that Semin wasn’t taking line rushes during this morning’s practice leading to speculation that he’ll be a healthy scratch for tonight’s game against Ottawa. When we said it’s a work in progress in Washington, we weren’t kidding.

If Semin is scratched tonight, it’ll be the second time in six games and a first under Hunter. Semin’s season has been less-than stellar this season as he leads the team in penalties while not contributing enough offensively to justify his mistakes. To call the start of his season ugly would be a disservice to ugly things.

The Caps need to get the best out of Semin because they’re a championship-caliber team when he’s on his game. Then again, the Caps have a lot of guys performing below lofty standards and Semin makes for an easy guy to send a message to with the number of penalties he takes and his other struggles.

Of course, the Caps have to hope that these messages are getting through to him because nothing else to this point has motivated him. The more things change in Washington, the more they stay the same.

  1. bjleech - Dec 3, 2011 at 10:50 AM

    At some point, someone in Washington is going to realize that it’s the players who shoulder the greatest responsibility for this mess – and that it doesn’t matter who’s coaching them.

  2. bcjim - Dec 3, 2011 at 10:55 AM

    Unless there is someone better, I fail to see the point in scratching him. If you dont like the way he is playing just limit his ice time. That way he is around at crunch time, down a goal late, etc or in a shootout when no coach would be fool enough to keep him on the pine.

    Scratch him and all you do is limit your options.

  3. bluesrawesome - Dec 3, 2011 at 11:37 AM

    They just need to trade himcap space for t. Some team would be stupid enough to trade a lot for him. And it will clear up a ton of cap space for them.

  4. andyreidisfat - Dec 3, 2011 at 12:04 PM

    The caps need to stop their defense first approach. They need to go back to scoring and find a good goalie. Perhaps they can work a semin for rask type of deal

  5. acieu - Dec 3, 2011 at 12:09 PM

    This was an exciting team which has blown away it’s fan loyalty by reverting to the typical NHL defensive BS. Let them run I would rather lose 6-5 than lose 2-1. At least it would be exciting. They are currently boring and like baseball which is like watching paint dry.

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