Coach Bruce Boudreau said all along he expected a positive response from Alexander Semin after the winger was a healthy scratch Monday against the Phoenix Coyotes. The 27-year-old proved Boudreau correct.
Against the Jets, Semin skated 18 minutes and 25 seconds – the most ice time he’s seen since Nov. 1 against Anaheim — and finished with a goal and was a plus-2 with three shots on goal in 21 shifts. He also ended his streak of consecutive games with at least one minor penalty, not taking one for the first time since Nov. 4 in Carolina.
Asked whether this was his best game of the season, though, Semin said it didn’t matter.
“It’s actually not important whether it was my best game or not,” Semin said through an interpreter. “The most important thing is that we won. And I’m just happy that I didn’t pick up a penalty.”
Semin had a noticeable spark to his game and his finish for a goal on a 2 on 1 with Alex Ovechkin was a prime example of what he can do when fully engaged, but he insisted that he didn’t change much from his game after being scratched.
“Of course I wanted to win. I wanted to play great,” Semin said. “But at the same time I don’t think I changed anything. I just played my game, went out there and played exactly like I did before the game [when he was scratched].”
Following the Capitals’ 4-3 overtime win against the Jets was the first time Semin talked at length with reporters since the news that he would be a healthy scratch. He was asked what he thought of being held to the same standard as everyone else on the team.
“Well, everybody’s the same, everybody’s equal in this situation,” Semin said. “It so happened to be that I was sat, but it can happen to absolutely anybody. Such is life. I just don’t wish it on anyone to be scratched.”