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Semin On the PK?

Last night, three players -- Alex Ovechkin, Alexander Semin and Mike Green -- made surprise appearances on the Caps' penalty kill unit. Today, Bruce Boudreau said he was just experimenting with Ovechkin and Green. As for Semin, well, he might actually see some time on the PK during the regular season.

Against the Hurricanes, Semin got 4:13 of shorthanded ice time, which was more than he received in a combined 63 games last season. The idea is that Semin, with his speed and stick skill, can a disruptive force by, among other things, picking off passes and then clearing or skating the puck out of danger.

"Semin killed penalties in the world championships last year, and Russia did win the world championship," Boudreau said. "This is a way to give him more ice time without taking any away from the four-line way that we play."

"Two years ago we scored 27 goals shorthanded in hershey," Boudreau added. "And we used Alexandre Giroux. If he got a shot, he would go down and score. Fleischmann killed penalties for us that year. He killed them in Carolina [on Wednesday] and he'll probably do it again tomorrow" in Boston.

Ovechkin and Green also have the skillset needed to be effective penalty killers. The only problem with those two, however, is they already get huge minutes at even strength and on the power play.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  September 26, 2008; 2:19 PM ET
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First! MUAH!

Posted by: Chicaps | September 26, 2008 2:43 PM | Report abuse

2nd Go CAPS !!!

Posted by: Tabby | September 26, 2008 2:44 PM | Report abuse

I'm all for it but its a risk vs reward type deal. As long as it pays off more than it costs us, then why not?

Posted by: Don-Ald | September 26, 2008 2:44 PM | Report abuse

with the balls-to-the-wall way ovie plays, i'd be afraid he'd flop right down in front of a slapshot without thinking about it, get injured, and be out for a month.

not worth the risk. i thought that was preety much the reason we haven't seen him on the PK up until now.

Posted by: jamebow | September 26, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

I like where this is going.

Posted by: JSchon | September 26, 2008 2:50 PM | Report abuse

This reminds me of when we used to toss Bonzai on the PK from time to time, Semin definitely has the ability to make the other team pay for passes that are too risky. He did it with success in the World Championships, and I don't see any problems here as long as he doesn't get hurt, or cost us too many goals.

Posted by: CapsCorndog | September 26, 2008 2:50 PM | Report abuse

I like Semin on PK. D-men will not pinch in as much because of his speed with the puck and ability to stick handle. He'll keep them honest and back on the blue line. He can also pick off sloppy passes and get clean breakaways.

Posted by: Greg S. | September 26, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe they're talking about putting Semin on the PK. I mean come on. He didn't even show up in DC until the day he was supposed to be here!

Posted by: September 19th | September 26, 2008 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Why hasnt Danny shown up? Where is he?

Posted by: Semin | September 26, 2008 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Interesting, though I'm skeptical. Seems like one of those things that works well in video games, or the AHL. Not the NHL.

But hey, how blessed are we to have a coach thinking outside the box a little, testing things out? Gotta love Gabby.

Posted by: Ben | September 26, 2008 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Wait, Semin plays defense?

Posted by: Section 117 | September 26, 2008 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Serious risk reward but Semin did play some PK in the Worlds and that seemed to work out well. Might have a positive effect on his even strength play.

Posted by: Sombrero Guy | September 26, 2008 3:09 PM | Report abuse

I've always thought OV or Semin should be on the PK. Most other teams use their stars on the PK - Crosby, Lecavalier, Sakic - because they make the D at the point nervous and prone to mistakes and play more conservatively. I like David Steckel, but no point man is thinking "I'd better get this pass on target or David Steckel might get a breakaway". Semin's not going to block shots, but he will steal passes and harass the point - it's a different PK strategy but one no less valid.

Posted by: katzistan | September 26, 2008 3:22 PM | Report abuse

(Forgive the repost but this applies more to this thread:)


The few times I have seen Semin on the PK, I thought he was VERY good in that role. I know it's counter-intuitive but he has a real knack for reading and intercepting the passes of the other team. He could be a real SHG threat on the PK, IMO.

Posted by: Sapper | September 26, 2008 4:04 PM | Report abuse

You know who else is pretty good on the PK? Kozlov. High hockey IQ and a huge reach. Also worked out pretty well for Team Russia.

Posted by: Vlad | September 26, 2008 4:33 PM | Report abuse

that's my neighbor! :D i saw him yesterday in the game and he seemed like he would be good at the PK, sorta like fedorov!

Posted by: m | September 26, 2008 4:40 PM | Report abuse

really crazy thought, how about playing green as a forward on the kill?

Posted by: jay | September 26, 2008 5:05 PM | Report abuse

let's just put team Russia's first line on ice... problem solved... O - F - S

Posted by: Dave King | September 26, 2008 5:08 PM | Report abuse

I didn't think Semin was all that on the PK ... he's not much of a defensive player at all. I just don't get it ...

Posted by: Boo! | September 26, 2008 5:13 PM | Report abuse

@September 19th
Please jump off of that issue; if you check out an interview with McPhee he plainly states that he doesn't care what the guys do prior to their being here on time as long as they are prepared. He said that Semin was not late; he was there for the start of training camp and he had no problem with Semin's arrival date/time. Enough said.

As for the penalty killing, I love it; not necessarily with Ovie due to injury issues (stated above), but Semin has the shifty lateral movement and can really cause a defender to back up. That was plainly the case last night against Carolina. Every defender was scared out of their mind of Ovie or Semin jumping by them if they hit them in the shin pads.

Posted by: Roose | September 26, 2008 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Um, Semin!??!

The guy prone to hooking penalties?

He causes a few 5 on 3's and this idea will quick be over.

Posted by: Stormblue | September 26, 2008 7:50 PM | Report abuse

I think that you people overreact too much here. My guess is that Semin will not be regular PK guy however he might step on the ice something like 30 secs before a penalty is expired. This way if he takes a penalty it might not be long 5 on 3. Also, you want give more minutes to Semin, but you don't want him to play on PK too much where the cost is not playing 5 on 5 on on powerplays.

Posted by: Niko | September 27, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

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