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Alex Semin still on the fourth line

Apr 30, 2012, 1:15 PM EDT

Alex Semin Getty Images

Alex Semin skated on the fourth line again this morning, taking line rushes alongside Mike Knuble and Keith Aucoin, just like he did yesterday.

The talented-but-maligned forward was whistled for two penalties Saturday in Washington’s 3-1 loss to the Rangers, one of them a retaliatory slash on New York’s Ryan Callahan that canceled a Capitals power play.

However, that wasn’t the reason he was demoted to the fourth line, if you believe what coach Dale Hunter said yesterday.

“No, just mixing the lines up,” Hunter said, as per “The one, he went for the puck and he hit a skate. The other one, both of them should’ve went. It was a cross check. If you watch the replay, [Callahan] cross checked him first. But you can’t retaliate. You just can’t retaliate. The ref, he called one. He could’ve easily called two. But that’s the way it goes.”

Today, Hunter said he still expects Semin to contribute offensively.

“He’ll go out and work hard,” Hunter said. “We need him to score goals for us, we need him to play good on the PP.”

  1. davebabychreturns - Apr 30, 2012 at 1:37 PM

    Hunter seems to be one of the coaches out there that is most willing to punish “star” players for lazy play and costly mistakes, and one of the coaches that is least willing to come out and say he’s doing it.

  2. geo91 - Apr 30, 2012 at 1:54 PM

    He probably has his bags packed already

  3. dowhatifeellike - Apr 30, 2012 at 2:13 PM

    Dude’s in the doghouse. He slashes and hooks more than he scores, and mostly in the offensive zone. Bruce should have busted him down to the 4th line years ago. Maybe now he’ll learn that he needs fewer penalty minutes if he wants better passes.

  4. govtminion - Apr 30, 2012 at 3:31 PM

    Very odd game for Semin. I said a few weeks ago that he was the key to the series against Boston- if he finally played well in a playoff series, the Caps could win it. (I didn’t expect Holtby’s coming-out party, but regardless). Well, he did- he had a very good series overall against the Bruins, and guess what- they won.

    It almost feels like now that he’s had that series, time to get back to lazy hockey. One bad game, hard to pick on him over one game, but… if he keeps that up, he’s better not on the ice. The Caps have enough problems on their hands without dumb penalties to boot.

    • dowhatifeellike - Apr 30, 2012 at 4:13 PM

      Caps fans are used to performances like Game 1. Semin has averaged 1 PIM per game over his career, which is too many for a winger who doesn’t fight.

      For perspective, Jason Chimera is a firey forward who DOES fight – and he has the same 1PIM/game average over his career.

      Ovechkin, whom some call a dirty player, has averaged about 0.65 PIM/game.

      I don’t have an overall average for forwards, but I bet it’s in the 0.5 PIM/game range. Laich is 0.5. Ward is about 0.3.

  5. capsfan19 - Apr 30, 2012 at 5:07 PM

    Shoot bench green. The dude is worthless and should be traded this offseason. Weak defender, gets hurt too much, and sucks at D. Id rather wideman stay on the team than green

    • rico004 - Apr 30, 2012 at 5:23 PM

      Are you serious? Wideman is terrible defensively. Him and Schultz have been on the ice for what seems like every goal the caps have given up. -5 in the playoffs

      • govtminion - Apr 30, 2012 at 5:59 PM

        Problem is, Green might be worse than they are.

        The Caps need a solid defenseman more than probably any other team in the league. Problem is, they’ve got Green, Wideman, Hamrlik, etc. instead.

  6. steviep23 - Apr 30, 2012 at 6:39 PM

    Nice now he’ll lose all interest in the game.

  7. dawglb - Apr 30, 2012 at 8:01 PM

    This is the tip of the iceberg. Hunter, with the owner’s blessing will want to clean house. Worthless (on the ice), but not in trade value: Semin, Green, and dare I say, Ovie??

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