Through 12 games this season, one of the Capitals’ strongest attributes has been their well-balanced attack, with each of the four lines contributing offense. But one player who isn’t having the offensive success he’s accustomed to is Alexander Semin.
The Russian winger has seven points (2 goals, 5 assists) in 2011-12 but only one point — an assist — in his last five games and he’s finished with a minus rating in three of the last four outings. He’s also the only forward on the roster with a minus rating overall at minus-2.
“I think he’s probably frustrated a little bit because he hasn’t scored. It’s new territory for him but I think he’s worked harder this year than he’s worked in the past,” Coach Bruce Boudreau said. “We talked about it today, me and him, we went over video and looked at why things aren’t going in for him. I just gotta believe it’s a matter of time before he starts scoring.”
Despite the lack of offense, Boudreau insists he’s seeing a harder-working Semin overall and away from the puck this year. The 27-year-old’s well-known propensity for taking many penalties has remained, however, as he leads the team with 14 penalty minutes and 7 minors.
“He’s working harder. He’s more committed to doing what we’re supposed to be doing. You don’t see those real big lapses of …staying out on the ice for long periods of time,” Boudreau said. “I know he’s gotten penalties but you don’t see the actual reaching and everything. A couple times, there are scoring chances, he has to take them; that’s the nature of the beast, but he’s going to get better. I like the way he’s trending.
“I don’t think I have to remind him [about the penalties],” Boudreau said. “He knows. He’s been reminded for years about it.”