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Hunter drops Semin to fourth line

Mar 9, 2012, 3:29 PM EDT

Alex Semin Getty Images

Stephen Whyno of the Washington Times reports Caps head coach Dale Hunter dropped LW Alex Semin to the fourth line following last night’s dramatic 3-2 OT win over Tampa Bay.

There wasn’t a clear message why Semin, who played 17:22 against the Lightning and registered five shots on goal, was demoted. Hunter alluded to Semin missing a scoring chance in overtime but also suggested he was “just trying different line combinations.”

The enigmatic Russian was one of four Capitals wearing a white fourth-line jersey on Friday. Mike Knuble, Jeff Halpern and Joel Ward were the others — and if you’re wondering what those guys have in common, think bowls full of kibble at Hunter’s canine hotel. Knuble has routinely been a healthy scratch; Hunter accused Ward of not playing “as well as he should be playing,” back in early February and Halpern’s ice time has been slashed (he’s played 9:02 or less in three straight games.)

There’s also the not-so-tiny issue of who’s now ahead of Semin in the pecking order. Washington’s top line of Marcus Johansson, Brooks Laich and Alex Ovechkin stayed intact, but career AHLer Keith Aucion moved up to the second line alongside Jason Chimera and Mathieu Perreault. The third line of Matt Hendricks, Jay Beagle and Troy Brouwer also went unchanged.

Is now a good time to mention that, at $6.7 million, Semin makes more than Aucoin, Beagle, Perreault, Hendricks, Johansson, and Chimera and Brouwer combined? (Edit: Math!)

  1. danphipps01 - Mar 9, 2012 at 3:39 PM

    “Is now a good time to mention that, at $6.7 million, Semin makes more than Aucoin, Beagle, Perreault, Hendricks, Johansson, Chimera and Brouwer combined?”

    According to Capgeek, that’s 7.5 million to Semin’s 6.7.

  2. dipthatchip - Mar 9, 2012 at 3:48 PM

    So…Semin gets a decent amount of shots on net, doesn’t take a stupid penalty, and gets demoted? The F are you doing Hunter.

    Semin doesn’t even like to pass the puck his 2nd linemates, I can’t imagine how selfish he’ll be with it on the 4th line.

    smh Hunter, smh

    • kantnockdahustle89 - Mar 9, 2012 at 4:29 PM

      Sure hes gotten better defensively but he takes the exact same shot every game. He comes down the wing or the middle…drags it back to his right for a full second and tries to shoot it. It gets deflected or goes WAY over the net every time. I cant wait until he is gone.

      • dipthatchip - Mar 9, 2012 at 5:35 PM

        I’m by no means a fan of Semin, don’t get me wrong. I can’t wait til he’s shipped out either…it just doesn’t seem like his play last night was worthy of being demoted two lines. His slapshot last night was millimeters away from blowing past Tokarski and he had a few other good chances too. Oh well, I’m already bracing for a spanking at TD Garden

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