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, September 15, 2011

Season Preview: Alexander Semin

Can Semin silence his critics with a big year?
As the regular season begins to draw nigh, day by day, the time has come to predict and begin to take a look at what the Caps and their fans can expect from each player on the roster.  Today's player is enigmatic winger Alexander Semin, who will begin his seventh season in the organization this fall.

Recap of Last Season: Sasha had an uncharacteristically poor year last season, which was his second worst in the NHL.  He tallied 28 goals and 26 assists, but 12 of those 28 goals came in four games and Sasha also endured an almost two-month long goal drought; absurd for someone of his talent level. Moreover, the injury bug continued to latch on to Semin, forcing him to miss 17 games and, I think, really hurting his consistency; I don't think he was ever fully healthy.  The playoffs, however, were different.  He had four goals and six points in nine games and scored two of the most important goals in the Rangers set.
Expectations for this Season: As one of Washington's top offensive threats, the time has come for Semin to bust out of his "inconsistent" label and rip everyone to shreds.  If he wants a new contract, he's going to have to earn it bigtime.  As the unquestioned offensive leader of the second line now with a young, fast center and a bruising physical presence on the other wing, Semin can be expected to have a big year that equates to his marvelous talent level.  He says he cares, so does John Carlson and so do I.  Time to prove it, yo.
Playing Time: Second line; power play unit B; first line; secondary penalty killer. As I wrote above, I think Sasha will spend most of the year on a line with Marcus Johansson and Troy Brouwer, though Bruce Boudreau will, without a doubt, put together the "megaline" of Semin-Ovechkin-Backstrom for a few games.  He's also going to play alot on the power play, and though I think he gets taken out of the regular PK rotation (a change from last season) he will still see time a man down.
Projections: 75 GP, 39 G, 42 A, +13 rating, 18:13 ATOI.

The next season preview will feature defenseman Mike Green.

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