Welcome to Caps 'Round the Clock, a blog covering the Washington Capitals and the NHL. In season, I update the Blog after every practice and on game day with Caps news and information, and then provide a recap and analysis after each contest. I also write a periodical Prospect Watch and weekly feature pieces on the state of the Men in Red and other things Capitals. And of course, I will post videos and tidbits from around the League and offer my two cents as the season wears on. In the offseason, I write a Report Card for each player, and will keep you updated on all the news about the Caps through the summer. I'm glad you're here, and hope you come back!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Report Card: Alexander Semin

History was red for a bit.  His sweater shouldn't be next year.
Today I bring you the twenty-fourth installment in my "Report Card" series, as I continue my evaluation of each Capital throughout this past regular season and playoffs.  Today's player is mercurial winger Alexander Semin, who finished his sixth year in the organization this season.

Stats/Season Summary: Semin had a down year by his standards, as did pretty much every Capital.  Sasha had his second worst season in the NHL, tallying 28 goals, 26 assists, a +22 rating, and 71 penalty minutes in 65 games.  The 17 games that he missed, as always, were due to nagging injuries, and the majority of them occurred in January and early February due to a groin ailment.  Semin also struggled with inconsistency; 12 of his 28 goals came in four games and he suffered a goal drought that lasted the better part of two months.  He also continued to take momentum-killing, head-banging stick penalties at bad times. Overall, not very good. Grade: C+
Role Play: When you are paid more than Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Ryan Kesler, and both of the Sedins, you need to set the world on fire offensively.  The Capitals need him to be a dominant offensive force and this year he wasn't. Blame whatever you want, but for someone of his pay level and talent, his numbers this year are not going to cut it, nor is his inconsistency putting them up. Less than a point per game is simply unacceptable, especially if you are going to take stupid penalties like Semin does alot.  He's going to get injured, so that's not an excuse; he has had dominant years when being injured before. #BadSasha. Grade: C
Playoffs: Alot of people were after Semin's head after the sweep to Tampa, and I don't get that.  His stats were acceptable compared to what he's done in the past in the postseason overall: four goals and two assists, as well as a +2 rating and 8 PIMs.  Now that's not spectacular, but Nicklas Backstrom was far worse, just to name one, and Semin scored the goal that allowed the Caps to come back in game four of the Rangers series as well as the OT winner in game one of that set.  It wasn't nearly as big a disaster as the regular season. Grade: B
Future Potential: Semin is under contract for one more season for way too much money ($6.7 million), and I am of the firm and humble opinion that they should TRADE HIM this offseason.  He still has the tools to be one of the best offensive players in the world, but for this Caps team that seems more committed to defense now, he is not a good fit and could get rid of Cap space that would allow DC to sign better players, such as a really good number two center, and to bring Brooks Laich back. He'll be electric somewhere else, and then he'll take a penalty somewhere else.  That's fine with me. Grade: A-

The next report card will be posted on June 11 and will feature Scott Hannan.

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