The Washington Post

Alex Ovechkin on Alexander Semin: ‘I hope he’s going to play much better’

Coach Bruce Boudreau’s decision to scratch Alexander Semin on Monday was intended as a message of accountability and owning up to one’s errors sent to the entire team. Semin will be back in the lineup Wednesday night as the Capitals host the Winnipeg Jets with a chance to perhaps get a little redemption for himself.

Semin was reportedly quite saddened upon finding out that he was sitting out Monday night, but he looked lighter in mood during Tuesday’s optional skate and the morning session Wednesday.

“Of course he was upset, understand there’s nothing you can do,” Alex Ovechkin said. “He’s big boy and he’s not small little kid -- he’s not going to cry. But he’s right now back on the ice and I hope he’s going to play today…..I hope he’s going to play much better. I think he play well, he have chances but he didn’t score. It was just coach’s decision to bench him.”

In 32 career appearances against the team formerly known as the Thrashers, Semin has 18 goals, 35 points and is a plus-1. His most recent goal against the franchise came last week in Washington’s 4-1 loss in Winnipeg and it’s possible Semin’s previous success will carry over at Verizon Center.

“I expect him to be a good player tonight,” Boudreau said, without expanding, when asked about the Russian winger.

Ovechkin is Semin’s closest friend in the dressing room and was asked what words of encouragement he offered to his fellow countryman.

“I just tell him don’t think about it,” Ovechkin said. “It’s going to be hard, but of course it’s hard to [sit] when you healthy and feel pretty good about yourself and you’re not playing. It’s pretty hard moment but it’s done. It was yesterday.”


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