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What's in Semin's Future?


What's in Semin's Future?

Following the Capitals 4-2 loss in Tampa on April 2nd, a game in which he recorded a goal and an assist, Alexander Semin was handed a score sheet that had his ice time listed at 14 minutes, 11 seconds. Fourteen minutes, Semin said in disgust. Wow! He then crumpled the score sheet and threw it in a trashcan.

Over the past few days, Semin and his agent Mark Gandler, have been trying to explain the future of the Capitals enigmatic right wing.

First, Gandler said his client, who is scheduled to become a free agent on July 1, has no interest playing for a team that limits his ice time and uses him as a role player. Then, upon arriving in Stockholm for the World Championships, Semin issued this statement to reporters:

This is all just talk. Words can get twisted. There was no talk at all that I am not going to sign with the Capitals for sure. I have not talked to them about leaving. And please dont ask me questions about the next season anymore.

This much Gandler can confirm: Semin has no interest returning for an eighth season in Washington if he is going to be used the way he was this season. Gandler told 106.7 The Fan: Theres no reason to discuss money or term, if they dont use the person.

Semin averaged 16:47 of ice time during the regular season and finished the year second on the Capitals in goals 21 and points 54 and tied for fourth in plus-minus plus-9.

During the playoffs, he averaged 17:28 of ice time, recording three goals, one assist and a minus-4. Those regular season totals continue a downward trend for the Russian winger, whose one-year, 6.7 million contract is set to expire in less than seven weeks.

Two years ago, Semin averaged 19:07 in ice time and finished with 40 goals, 84 points and a plus-36 rating. Last season he averaged 18:04 in ice time, recorded 28 goals and 54 points and was a plus-22.

Clearly, Semins value on the open market will be considerably less than the 6.7 million the Capitals gave him last season.

The Caps might want to ask themselves if they need a player, regardless of his price, who places so much emphasis on playing time.

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Can Pittsburgh's past be a goalie rotation blueprint?


Can Pittsburgh's past be a goalie rotation blueprint?

It’s happened. The Caps no longer seem to have a No. 1 goalie anymore, they have a No. 1 and 1a.

That’s right, we have a goalie rotation in Washington.

“There's no sense riding one,” Barry Trotz said after practice on Monday. “[Braden Holtby] is coming back and looking better every game and [Philipp Grubauer] played pretty well for a long stretch so why not have both of them going?”

Grubauer got the start Sunday in Philadelphia and Holtby is slated to get the start Tuesday against the Dallas Stars. After that we will have to wait and see.


Trotz has no layout for which goalie he wants to start and when in the remaining ten games. He is not thinking about each goalie splitting five games or which one he wants to use more.

Nope. Trotz has just one thing on his mind. It is all about who starts the next game, that’s it.

“I think you just go with a guy that's hot at the time and your team feels comfortable with and go from there,” Trotz said.

So where does this leave the goaltending situation when it comes to the playoffs? A goalie rotation is all well and good in the regular season, but he has to have one starter for the postseason, right?

Not necessarily.


When Trotz was asked if he philosophically believed in having one starter for the playoffs, Trotz initially said he would not answer, but then said, “Why don't you ask Mike Sullivan what he thinks.”

Sullivan, of course, is the head coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins who has led his team to a Stanley Cup in each of the past two seasons despite turning to both goalie Marc-Andre Fleury and Matt Murray in both seasons.

While Pittsburgh’s goalie rotation was largely based on injury, however, it still provides an example of how using both goalies can work in the playoffs and that seems to be the path the Caps are headed on at the moment.

Said Trotz, “You just have to go with your gut who you think is going to get the job done.”

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NHL Power Rankings: The home stretch

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NHL Power Rankings: The home stretch

We are down to the home stretch. Only 10 games remain in the Capitals' regular season. Those 10 games will ultimately decide if the Caps finish in first place in the Metropolitan Division and who they will play in the first round of the playoffs.

Washington currently sits in first place in the division, two points ahead of the Pittsburgh Penguins and four points ahead of the Philadelphia Flyers. Of those 10 remaining games, only three come against teams currently in playoff position. The most critical of these comes on April 1 when the Caps travel to Pittsburgh in a game that could ultimately decide the division.

The Caps still hold a narrow lead in the standings, but where do they stand in the rankings? See this week's updated NHL Power Rankings here.