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Alex Semin is frustrating the Caps with dumb penalties again

Alexander Semin, Nate Thompson

Tampa Bay Lightning center Nate Thompson, right, tries to stop Washington Capitals left wing Alexander Semin (28), of Russia, during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Monday, Oct. 10, 2011, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)


We all know that when Alexander Semin tries he can be a great offensive player. This season, however, he’s been better at putting his team down a man than up by a goal. With 18 penalty minutes on the season, Semin is the Caps’ de facto “goon” in that he’s leading the team in penalties. For a guy that’s supposed to help the team score goals, that’s no good.

Semin’s play last night in a circus-like performance losing 5-2 to Dallas came under fire by coach Bruce Boudreau. Boudreau cut Semin’s ice time last night after taking a brutal penalty that led to a game-changing power play goal. Boudreau ranted after the game and’s Chuck Gormley was there to get the brunt of his frustration with Semin and what to do to fix it.

“You address it by taking ice time away,” Boudreau said. “Alex Semin got two shifts after that penalty and they were both on power plays. As hard as he worked in the first period – he scored a goal – he can’t be leading our team in minors. He’s got nine minors in 13 games. That can’t be done. He’s got to move his legs and not take those penalties.”

Gormley suggests that perhaps the last way left to get through to Semin is to scratch him for a game and learn his lesson. It’d be a harsh way to go about things, but if Boudreau is at the breaking point, it could be the only way to make it clear that dumb penalties won’t be tolerated. Would that be too harsh or the right way to go about it?