Update: As practice progressed, Joel Ward left the ice and Semin was moved to skating with Marcus Johansson and Cody Eakin. The trio is wearing green jerseys, which typically signifies the third line.
Original post: All of the Capitals who played in last night’s dreadful 7-1 loss to the Maple Leafs, along with recalled defenseman Dmitry Orlov, are on the ice for Sunday’s practice. What is particularly interesting this morning is where Alexander Semin is skating — as one of four players rotating through drills on the fourth line.
Traditionally, when there are four players taking turns on the fourth line one of them will be scratched in the next game. Semin wouldn’t exactly seem to fit well on a line with any combination of Matt Hendricks, Mathieu Perreault and Jeff Halpern, so it may be time to infer whatever you want to infer.
Coach Bruce Boudreau benched Semin for the second half of a 3-1 win in New Jersey on Nov. 11 and it’s possible that taking a turn watching from the press box is the next step. If that isn’t what Boudreau intends it at least looks like Semin will be demoted from his usual spot among the top-six forwards.
In the four games since he was benched, Semin is a minus-1, has one point (a goal in Winnipeg) and four more minor penalties. The Russian winger has been called for at least one minor penalty in each of the past seven games.
Here are the lines this morning: