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Alexander Semin leaves practice early

Winger Alexander Semin left practice with an undisclosed injury, but Coach Bruce Boudreau said he did not believe it to be serious.

"According to Alexander Semin, he's fine," Boudreau said. "He felt something today, and he said it's better to be maintenance free, not push it, and he'll be fine tomorrow, according to the trainers."

Boudreau refused to elaborate on the nature of the ailment, but Semin has missed time recently with a right wrist injury.

Mike Knuble took Semin's place during practice, joining Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom on the top line.

By Gene Wang  |  January 4, 2010; 12:55 PM ET
 | Tags: Alexander Semin  
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Next: Nicklas Backstrom: Playing with a migraine is 'twice as hard'

Comments

Semin?? who knows - sore vijay jay as Oprah would call it.

Speaking of Knuble, I'd like to see him step up his leadership of this team. We brought him here to be a difference in the locker room and provide second line scoring and other than the odd comment about playing smarter, I'm not sure he's really held teammates accountable.

I keep seeing the Caps make blind passes and/or try to thread passes through 3 defenders vs. playing tough / grind hockey...which is how the play-offs are won.

btw - first!

Posted by: Jaymagz | January 4, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Ughhhh! We've been kind of wondering if something happened in the Carolina game (was it?) where he left the ice cursing in Russian holding his wrist. I've also thought his shots have been off and he's whiffed more since then.

I hope not. He needs to play.

Posted by: Steakum | January 4, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

I love Semin as much as the next guy (haha) but man the injuries with him just don't stop... how come he can't be Russian Machine Never Break?

Posted by: rh71 | January 4, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

and glass joe hits the deck!

Posted by: doughless | January 4, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

He's really killing my fantasy team as of late...

Posted by: Fro_ | January 4, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Gene doing the Caps! He is a jack-of-all trades.

Posted by: MKadyman | January 4, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Tarik posted a link to the Caps rap earlier but if you haven't watched it yet it is a must see. http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Caps+Rap&search_type=&aq=f

Posted by: ccCapsfan | January 4, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

I guess Semin got some sand in his hoo-ha!

Posted by: sargeantmofo | January 4, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Semin is trying to save himself for the Olympics.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | January 4, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

We are now 7 pts behind the Blackhawks and the Sharks. Leading the league in points is a distant memory. The term "elite" should now be used sparingly when describing this team.

If things go along this trend, maybe later this month we maybe talking about a race in the SE Conference with the Thrashers (who are scary good talent-wise, but don't have an iota of consistency)...

Posted by: Political_Stratgst | January 4, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, that's going to happen. This team had an almost mirror-image trip out West last season. They'll reel of 5 wins in the next 6.

Posted by: saintex | January 4, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

This team is lucky not to be out west. They don't match up well against some of those teams with size, speed, and aggression. Look at the game Chicago just played v the Blues. They outskated them, and when the Blues tried to goon things up the Hawks dished it back in spades. The Caps are largely still a skill team that has a hard time in overly physical contests. SJ plays the same way Chicago does. You almost have to to survive in that conference

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 4, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

re: Semin I just don't see him as a long-time Capital. I guess he'll play out the extension and this org will re-evaluate how to fill his spot in the lineup. Maybe Bouchard or one of the other kids can help fill that offensive hole. I'd still love to see what we can get back for him in a trade. I'd hate to lose him after next season for nothing.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 4, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

"We are now 7 pts behind the Blackhawks and the Sharks. Leading the league in points is a distant memory."

Yeah because leading the league in points on January 4 shows who will win the Cup in June right? The Sharks are at or close to top of the league almost every season and they have piles of Stanley Cups to show for it right? Oh wait...

Figures, the Caps lose 3 straight and the chicken littles start running around.

The team has dealt with key injuries, has played 14 of the last 21 away from home including two west coast trips, dealt with a big trade, and still they have a 12-point division lead (love the shout-out to the scary Thrashers btw who have lost 8 in a row) and are five points off the conference lead. I guess we better sell off the team at the deadline...lol.

Pittsburgh has lost five in a row and six of seven. I guess they better start trading people. Seasons over.

Posted by: southside721 | January 4, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

on the Blues game, they were clobbering the Blackhawks. i see no gooning there. Sharp got completely pummeled. i would take some of the Blues physicality any day of the week.

Posted by: doughless | January 4, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

As far as I can see, the last three losses have not had to do with personnel but with execution. The two games before that they appeared invincible.

Looking forward to seeing Sasha's brilliance back soon.

Posted by: Sonyask | January 4, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

i see no gooning there
------------------------

Did you watch Cam Janssen try to take out every Hawk he could in that 3rd pd? He went for a flying elbow into Brent Sopel's face and when Eager and Sopel finally reacted to Janssen then Barret Jackman came flying in to find someone to fight with. Point being, the Hawks don't need to take needless abuse just because they have a big lead on a team. The Caps in that instance will probably keep turning the other cheek and getting meaningless PPs at that time of the game. At some point you have to be able to play and be successful at multiple styles. We're pretty much a skill finesse team with a few grinders on it. We're afraid of taking penalties, we don't engage or respond well when other teams ramp up the physicality. We just don't have that type of personnel. But teams like the Sharks, Hawks, Flames etc are successful teams who employ a very physical style

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 4, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

I agree with southside721. Weren't the Penguins blowing hard last year around this time and then managed to win the Cup? And also, weren't the Sharks pretty awesome last year and somehow wanked out during the quarterfinals? I say we're okay for now. Keep your lace panties from riding up like that. It'll keep you guys from saying stupid things about our team and Semin in particular.

A$$hats.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | January 4, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

varly out two weeks w/ lower body injury. that from the john walton who i think it the bears pr guy/play by play guy.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | January 4, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

It'll keep you guys from saying stupid things about our team and Semin in particular.

A$$hats.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | January 4, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

its return of the homer!

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 4, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Weren't the Penguins blowing hard last year around this time and then managed to win the Cup?
-----------------------------

I'm sure changing their coach had nothing to do with their turnaround.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 4, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

They've got to work on that 5 on 3 a bit. Ovechkin is a good guy to have in front of the net because he can take one guy out of the play, but he's also their best shot. Stick Knuble in front of the net and let Ovechkin work the point and take some shots through the screen instead of trying that cross-crease pass over and over. It's too easy to defend if it's all you try to do.

I'd actually consider moving Chimera to the top line over Knuble if Semin is out. He's got great speed. I like Knuble but he isn't really working as well with Ovechkin as expected. The one positive from the last game is that the defence actually played pretty solid for the first time in 3 games. And against a team with some great offensive weapons.

Posted by: Stu_c | January 4, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

I guess Theo starts vs. the Habs?

Posted by: oldtimehockey | January 4, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

As far as I can see, the last three losses have not had to do with personnel but with execution. The two games before that they appeared invincible.
----------------------------------------

Part of it is matchups. The loss to the Canes was simply a case of the Caps not showing up and the Canes giving a great effort. The loss to SJ and the Kings has everything to do with personnel. If you don't match up as well against certain teams and styles, then of course your execution won't be as precise. Personnel and style affects execution. Execution doesn't exist in a vacuum. The overall effort we gave against the Kings and Sharks would probably have been enough to defeat Carolina.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 4, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of Knuble, I'd like to see him step up his leadership of this team. We brought him here to be a difference in the locker room and provide second line scoring and other than the odd comment about playing smarter, I'm not sure he's really held teammates accountable.

I keep seeing the Caps make blind passes and/or try to thread passes through 3 defenders vs. playing tough / grind hockey...which is how the play-offs are won.

btw - first!

Posted by: Jaymagz | January 4, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

I don't think Knuble is the Gary Roberts type of leader. His effect I think is more subtle. That is why we're seeing more of our forwards parking their butts in the crease than in yrs past. But Knuble has never been some kind of fiery vocal leader who drives other players to raise their game in any dramatic fashion. For that matter, I don't think Clark was that type of leader either (save the odd incident here or there). Which is why I'd like to see any future acquistion we make come readymade with those type of leader qualities. Thats one area this team is lacking in, especially on D.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 4, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

I think the Guerin and Kunitz additions were way more valuable than the Pens' coaching change. Up to that point, they seem force to play Crosby and Malkin on the same line due to a severe lack of wingers.

It's good to have a nice first half, and it'll be good to have a nice second half to ready for the playoff slog.

Posted by: saintex | January 4, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Also last year the Penguins started their turnaround after Gonchar returned from injury.
At least BB didn't put Semin in a tool shed or electical closet today at Kettler!

Posted by: kcbrichmond | January 4, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Clearly the team hasn't played well. If the issue is as cstanton1 suggests, then, they need to address that with a rental or two for the playoffs. The comment is actually kind of ironic, because 10 years ago it was exactly the reverse: the east was gritty and the west was "skill".

I still think there is 1) a bit of a post-trade hang-over and 2) a mild slump. 2 may have been caused by 1. It will either pass once they settle down, or it will linger if people are waiting for the "next" trade.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | January 4, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

so with this "new" injury to varly:

http://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=253486466536&id=177418353702

and him supposedly out for another 2 weeks, what genious thoughts does BB have now? they have mtl, ott and atl this week.

go back to theo? or keep running out neuvirth? neuvirth looked okay in both losses last week; theo did not...

vote
a) theo
b) neuvirth
c) holtby

Posted by: RAJSTAR | January 4, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

The newest injury to Varly has me very discouraged. He cannot be our 'franchise' goalie if he is regularly injured (see Rick DiPietro). While I understand all the doom and gloom on this site over the past week, I think Varly's tendency toward injury and our lack of a strong backup will be the Caps biggest issue as to how far they can get in the playoffs this year.

Posted by: DevilsCapsGal | January 4, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

again some of you people really need to get a grip... the season is only HALF way over and the standing does NOT matter. just ask the SJ Sharks!

You can't win or lose the Cup in January.

injuries are part of this business and as long as most of the key players are healthy for the playoffs, they will be fine.

Posted by: joek443 | January 4, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

and who says you must have a number one goalie who plays over 50 or 60 games during the regular season??

the Grant Fuhr/Andy Moog tandem worked just fine for the Oilers during the 80's.

Posted by: joek443 | January 4, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

cstanton1

I agree on Semin. I've long thought that he would head back to the motherland and the KHL. He can be brilliant, which makes him worth good talent in return in a trade and he's maddeningly inconsistent, which makes him expendable from the Caps roster.

I beleive it was reported that he wanted the 1 year extension, not a multi-year contract and that is a big RED flag (no pun intended)

Posted by: jeets | January 4, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Semin hasn't scored a goal since Dec 18. He's injury prone, lazy and undisciplined. TRADE HIM NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: dcsportsdude | January 4, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

if Semin wanted to play in the KHL, he wouldn't have signed a one year deal.

what would be the logic?? he could just leave after this year was over with.

Posted by: joek443 | January 4, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Backie means more to the team, longterm, than Semin

Posted by: doughless | January 4, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Semin signing a one year deal is a PROOF, not a red flag that he wants to play in the NHL

Posted by: joek443 | January 4, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

My point on Semin going home is that he may want to go home sooner than later. He may see a window of opportunity to get his name on the Cup but ultimately would like to play at home as well. Having cake and eating it too...

Relax, just a theory, what do I know?

Posted by: jeets | January 4, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

the caps will be buyers at the deadline this year, make no mistake about it. they've got the cap space and plenty of prospects to deal if needed. they arent going to be stupid and move a core asset, but i believe they will be willing to deal some prospects/picks for players that can help them now.

remember ted/GM's mantra in the past, they wanted a pick and a prospect. well, other teams who are now where the caps were are going to want to do the same.

the presidents trophy is a nice bauble, but more often than not it means playoff failure. this team needs to peak in march/april, not january. remember last year when the team limped into the playoffs and it nearly cost them in the first round? well, we dont need a repeat of that.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | January 4, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

dcsportsfan1:

agreed

Posted by: doughless | January 4, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

um..peaking into may and june would be good too...one long peak/platau of greatness...they can fall apart in july.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | January 4, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

i hope that the Chimera pickup shows that GMGM has taken note of the need for a bit more grit on the Caps roster. I am hoping there is more to come (on blueline and possibly a forward).

Posted by: doughless | January 4, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

dare i say that caps fans need to "stay medium"???

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | January 4, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

I think Semin's location after this one year deal next year is premature. Who knows what is in that guy's head. Personally, I would think a 6M deal that takes him to UFA status would be perfect. The Caps have limited cap space, so he wouldn't garner a huge offer, maybe just a QO. So, after next year he'll go where he gets more coinage. That may be here; that may be Russia.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | January 4, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

"Look at the game Chicago just played v the Blues. They outskated them, and when the Blues tried to goon things up the Hawks dished it back in spades."

I'm not surprised that Chicago (#1) "outskated" the Blues (#25)? Playing against a not so great team doesn't really reflect on Chicago's skills. We'll see what happens on March 14th when we play them, they may be far from #1 then.

Posted by: RusCap | January 4, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

@southside721

Dude - really appreciate the introspective comment. I had no idea that where you are on Jan 4 may or may not extrapolate to winning the division or the Cup. I have no memory of the Caps two years ago, or the Pens last year, or where the Pens are in their current rut. Thanks!

Posted by: Political_Stratgst | January 4, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

On March 13, 2001 the Caps were leading the Eastern Conference, 1 pt ahead of NJ. McPhee felt it was the right time to trade two current roster players--Zednik and Bulis--for Linden and Zubrus. The team tanked, loosing 9 of final 13, finished sixth in the East, and were eliminated by Penguins in the quarter finals. I would sure like to hear McPhee's assessment of that trade 9-years later, and his explanation for why we shouldn't expect the same outcome after trading two current roster players from this years team while leading the East 1 pt ahead of NJ.

Posted by: perezcanning | January 4, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Dion phaneuf wants out of Calgary-- GMGM go get him!!!!!

Posted by: lylewimbledon | January 4, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

@RusCap

Point standings sometimes lie in a big way. For a moment it looked like the Preds were challenging the Hawks, but only for a moment. The Home-Home was a rout and the Hawks blew by them like the NorEaster on a pile of deadwood.

They are the team to beat, without question. Rare combo of finesse, toughness, speed built on a base of mostly North American blood. And, as young as they are, they will only get better with every passing year. Like Detroit this past decade, Chicago will own the 2010-2019 stretch.

Posted by: Political_Stratgst | January 4, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Interesting that fans that stay true to their team and don't want to hear crap from people that are faaaaaaaaaaaaaaar from experts should be insulted by being called "homers." "Homers" are the ones that attend the Capitals games and buy Caps gear, when the Caps suck too.

We don't match up well against SJ? We beat them 4-1 here and they beat us 5-2 there. Sounds like a time zone advantage on both sides. Losing 2-1 to LA was disappointing but we didn't have one of league point leaders in Backs for the last two periods which didn't help our cause.

We added Chimera for grit I guess. Had an assist in the first game and a late penalty in the second game. He's still trying to establish himself in DC, but until Ovi hit Chimera harder than he had ever been hit before (Chimmer said that himself) he was a no-name to anyone outside the Western Conference, and especially here in DC. IMO the deal was nothing more than a salary cap shuffle for us. C-bus was hurting for D-men so IMO GMGM received a call from C-bus to get the wheels turning. Jurcina filled a big hole for them we could health scratch Chimmer and bring up Matty P and be a better team.

Posted by: fanohock1 | January 4, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

New thread.

@perezcanning - Hindsight is 20/20.

Posted by: irockthered | January 4, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

@perezcanning

Your point? Do you really believe that professionals in the NHL cannot handle a trade?

I realize that different posters want or feel that we need different pieces to the Caps roster but I find it ironic people are yelling because GMGM didn't make a roster change by last season's deadline while att the same time others are bemoaning the recent trade.

It is an indisputable fact that in order to get something in a trade one has to give something up. Is the team a little jumbled in the short
term? Perhaps tho' I think many factors played into our week of woes.

But have the additions to the team signaled a desire to get grittier and tougher and more physical? IMO they have.

Will the guys get their mojo back and start a new streak?

ABSOLUTELY!

Can't appreciate the highs without experiencing the lows. Tough games are learning experiences that they can take with them in the playoffs. Learning how to handle being the team others want to beat rather than being the underdogs--that is also a valuable lesson to learn. I would be more worried if they just coasted into the playoffs. They have been challenged by some very good teams just as we challenged other very good teams.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | January 4, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

On March 13, 2001 the Caps were leading the Eastern Conference, 1 pt ahead of NJ. McPhee felt it was the right time to trade two current roster players--Zednik and Bulis--for Linden and Zubrus. The team tanked, loosing 9 of final 13, finished sixth in the East, and were eliminated by Penguins in the quarter finals. I would sure like to hear McPhee's assessment of that trade 9-years later, and his explanation for why we shouldn't expect the same outcome after trading two current roster players from this years team while leading the East 1 pt ahead of NJ.


Posted by: perezcanning | January 4, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

I would make that trade again and twice on sunday... Zubrus alone was a better player than Zednik and Bulis combined.

Posted by: joek443 | January 4, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

and was that the only time the Caps ever tanked in the playoffs??????? LOL

Posted by: joek443 | January 4, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

The strongest correlation for the Pens last year and their strong playoff run was quite simply, the return of Sergei Gonchar. They were / are a very different team when he's on the ice, and healthy.

Posted by: govtimbo | January 4, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

the Caps haven't done a darn thing yet in the playoffs and neither have the Hawks...

I don't care where they are in the standings right now - they still have to beat the Wings in the playoffs just like the Caps have to beat the Pens.

Posted by: joek443 | January 4, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

I would make that trade again and twice on sunday... Zubrus alone was a better player than Zednik and Bulis combined.Posted by: joek443

Not only did they tank after that trade, they owned last place in 4 of the next 5 seasons. The only silver lining I see from that trade is that they got so bad that they were eventualy able to draft Ovechkin and Backstrom. As for the notion that NHL pro's arn't affected by mid-season trades, it depends on the trade. When you trade two current roster players including the team captain from a team leading the NHL in points, and get a player in return who's production has fallen dramatically from the previous two seasons, you roll the dice.

With a healthy Varlimov, its hard to imagine the Caps not making a run for the Cup this year but, as I said in my last post, I'd like to hear McPhee's assessment of that 01' trade and if it weighed into his thought process when he decided to trade the captain of the team the day after they played one of the best back-to-back regular season games I've ever seen them play.

Posted by: perezcanning | January 4, 2010 6:16 PM | Report abuse

@ perezcanning

whatever happened that year had NOTHING to do with the trade and whatever happens this year will have NOTHING to do with the MINOR trade that they made last week.

they're called COINCIDENDES.

Posted by: joek443 | January 4, 2010 6:52 PM | Report abuse

COINCIDENCES!

Posted by: joek443 | January 4, 2010 6:53 PM | Report abuse

since when did Richard Zednik and Jan Bulis become Wayne Gretzky and Mark Messier anyway????????

Posted by: joek443 | January 4, 2010 6:55 PM | Report abuse

live tv and live score for free

http://www.nowgoal.com/22.shtml

Posted by: d1g00f | January 5, 2010 1:54 AM | Report abuse

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