Alexander Semin has been silent in the Stanley Cup playoffs, both with his scori
Maybe the conversation would be different had the puck left Alexander Semin’s stick — where it found itself in the first period of Game 5 Friday night — and somehow made its way behind Montreal goaltender Jaroslav Halak . Semin’s wrist shot, fired in a blur from the left circle behind a screen — “one of the best shots in the league, if not the best,” according to teammate Tom Poti — instead found Halak’s pad.
When Semin tracked down the rebound and tried a different tactic, whacking at the puck as he stood just inches from the goal, Halak absorbed it again. Bodies flew into the net. Semin , without a goal in a lengthening playoff series for the Washington Capitals, began to scrap with Montreal center Dominic Moore. It did no good.
Thus, the conversation heading into Monday’s Game 6 — the Capitals’ second chance to eliminate the Canadiens and advance — remains the same. Washington, the most dangerous offensive team in the league, is getting no production from Semin , one of the league’s most dangerous offensive players. Through five games, he has no goals and one assist, and his propensity for seemingly drifting in and out of consciousness has only fueled the story line.
That is the appropriate tone for a teammate to take in the midst of what has been, for the most part, a tightly contested series. But there is a reason why Capitals Coach Bruce Boudreau snapped off his answers about Semin’s performance after the 2-1 loss in Game 5. He is counted on to score goals. He has not done so. And that has an effect not only on Semin, but on the entire lineup — particularly the top line of Alex Ovechkin , Nicklas Backstrom and Mike Knuble.