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Semin Played With Injured Thumb

Here are a couple of really quick notes from Breakdown Day at KCI:

GM George McPhee just said that he has no plans to buy out Michael Nylander's contract. It does not make financial sense, he said. McPhee also added that he thinks Nylander has not fully recovered from the shoulder injury.

The injuries:

  • Mike Green (shoulder)
  • Alexander Semin (thumb)
  • Tom Poti (broken foot)
  • John Erskine (broken foot)
  • Alex Ovechkin (groin pull)
  • Shaone Morrisonn (groin, ankle)

McPhee also said that he will speak to his pro scouting staff and the players before deciding whether to bring back pending FAs Sergei Fedorov, Donald Brashear, Brent Johnson and Viktor Kozlov.

I've got to go finish up my interviews. I'll have more in a bit.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  May 15, 2009; 11:18 AM ET
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Next: Ovechkin Details Injuries


I thought it was reported that Semin had a broken foot (on, maybe?) Was that incorrect, or is that in addition to the thumb?

Jesus, no wonder the D looked like they had lead weights tied to their skates. 2 broken feet, one groin and ankle combo, and then there was Green shoulder injury.

What sidelined Fehr and Schultz?

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 15, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

wtf is he going to do with Nylander, then? Unless Jagr comes back, nobody is going to want him.

Posted by: thiazzi | May 15, 2009 11:28 AM | Report abuse

"I ain't dead, and it isn't broken."

Actually, it IS broken...

Posted by: justbrewit | May 15, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

buying out the contract ties the Caps hands for FOUR years. Surely some team with supremely incompetent management (Tampa Bay, I'm looking at you) could be convinced to trade.

Tarik, has Poti found out if he has to have surgery yet?

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 15, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Granted Nyls is older, but does anybody remember how well he played prior to injuring the shoulder? He was on a point per game pace. I guess that's why they pay GMGM the big bucks

Posted by: fatboy08 | May 15, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse

I am so friggin' tired of hearing how Ovechkin cherry picks. If he is cherry picking all the time why are his goals scored when he is coming down the ice 1 on 3, or he undresses a defenseman before he scores? That knock on him is old and tired.

Posted by: fanohock1 | May 15, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Red Birdie,

Tampa indeed does have crappy management, but they're looking to dump salary not add in on.

Posted by: Steve_R | May 15, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse

i think that we need Sergei Fedorov and Donald Brashear back next year, not nylander and morrisonn

Posted by: tmanhockey19 | May 15, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

from the previous post:

Buy out Nyls. He can join Brash and fedorov in the KHL.

Posted by: atybat | May 15, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

I don't think Feds has any interest in playing in the KHL. The impression I'm under is he will play hockey as long as he and Washington agree to terms, and then he's done. He was intending on retiring last season until he got traded. He wants to play another year, is my understanding, but if they don't agree on terms, Feds will retire (as a Cap. how's that for mindblowing?!). I also don't think he has any intention of returning to live in Russia.

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 15, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

trade 60, resign bj. he was good til he got injured.

Posted by: Andoy | May 15, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

$20 says Orpik broke Semins thumb with that slash that went uncalled, like all the other slashes.

here are some what ifs for ya:
What if instead of playing guys with borken feet and ankles, call up some depth and use guys with healthy feet and ankles, the same guys that kept the team from going down in flames earlier in the season? I'm getting a little tired of losing because we play unhealthy guys.

Just a thought.

Posted by: oo7 | May 15, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

fatboy08, Nylander actually looked very good at the beginning of this season, too! And then November came and it unraveled into a huge mess. He certainly still has a specific set of skills and talent. Why it worked briefly and then stopped, I don't know. But its not like the man can't contribute somewhere, just not in Washington.

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 15, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

trade 60, resign bj. he was good til he got injured.

quoted for truth.

Posted by: thiazzi | May 15, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

The Caps have some serious work to do. It is a must that we sign a big, experienced and rough Dman. I am a big fan of Fedorov, not only can he still play but he brings a ton of experience and leadership that the Caps are lacking. They can not rely on the wisdom that most of the kids have, they need some older, experienced players who know what it takes to win, not just in the regular season but in the playoffs. As for Brashear, I think we should bring him back, but its up to him to take a substantial pay cut to what the Russians are offering him. God bless our souls...its going to be a tough off season.

Posted by: bigrojo37 | May 15, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

What about Fedorov, Tarik?

He went down hard early this series when Gill accidentally butt-ended him. Looked like his ribs.

Posted by: ThisGuy | May 15, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

wow- Lumberjack with a broken foot and still played knockout defense. IMO he is one of the of if not the most improved player on the Caps team. seriously, hats off to Lumberjack.

i think Semin injured his thumb from sucking on it too much. have some balls GMGM: Semin should be trade bait. he is total glass out there on the ice.

Posted by: doughless | May 15, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

@ranndino: I saw the piece on Ovi too regarding his line-mates not being able to keep up with his rush up ice. I tell you what, we could probably get Afinogenov at a bargain because he got the Nyls treatment in Buffalo the last couple of years. That would mean his stock has gone down so he won't have much to stand on as far as negotiating a big contract. I believe he is an unbelievably talented player that has the wheels to stay with Ovi.

Posted by: fanohock1 | May 15, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

i dont think that the caps need clake either

Posted by: tmanhockey19 | May 15, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Looks like we are stuck with Nyls and I am fine with that. He is the least of our problems. I just hope BB finds a place for his kind of playing and makes good use of him.

The bigger problem is what to do with Theodore. To me, he is not a fit for Varly who is, himself, somewhat unsure and not sufficiently toughened up. Varly needs a stable, solid, experienced presence next to him. The Caps have got to solidify the goalie position rather than improvise or compensate for mediocrity.

Then, as Tarik says, they have to solitify defense and their ability to crash the net. I just could not believe how Crosby could station himself in front of our net for all his goals, and we could not do the same or even hold on to the puck. Unless we increase our grit & aggressiveness, I don't see us going far in the playoffs.

I am a little concerned that McPhee still seems a bit unconcerned and casual about remedying these gaps.

Posted by: caraveli | May 15, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

I'm curious as to what a healthy Clark can bring to the team. Poor guy has been the poster child for walking wounded for 2 plus seasons.

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 15, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Semin is delicate. Mcphee has given a save the face version in order not to embarass his player. Behind close door, things are a little different.

Also, they should not re-sign Fedorov. If not for that one goal in game 7, which was just a bad defensive play, his contribution would be very minimal. He is done. If he wants to keep playing, he needs to play in the KHL next year.

Buy out Nyls. He can join Brash and fedorov in the KHL. He probably would love to play with Jagr again. Get rid of Fehr and Fleischman, two non-entities.

By the way, my prediction is that Green will never get another offensive year like this year. His record indicates that, even in Junior, he never scored that many goal. The fact that he needs to get better defensively will also slow down his offensive prowesses. He just doesn't have the brain trust to put it all together consistently.

Posted by: atybat | May 15, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Granted Nyls is older, but does anybody remember how well he played prior to injuring the shoulder? He was on a point per game pace. I guess that's why they pay GMGM the big bucks

Posted by: fatboy08 | May 15, 2009 11:32 AM

I remember very well those days. The problem is his style of play is not conducive to the Caps present setup. Now, if that changes with the addition of a few grinders (PLEASE!!!) his relavance comes back.

For my 2 cents, I'd trade JT, re-up BJ for 2 years and share net duties with Varly. We'd have 2 - #1 goalies and zero #2's.

We have no cap room for a Bouwmeister or Pronger unless we move Nylander and don't sign either Feds or Koz.

Those going to Hershey in the next few days, check out the D-men. Alzner will be a Cap next year as a puck mover. He will NOT be a shut down guy. Who could fill that role? Carlson? Collins? McNeill?

Lots of questions....

Posted by: Greg S. | May 15, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse


couldn't agree less. Semin is a player that the Caps have to keep.

Posted by: Steve_R | May 15, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Is Clake McArthur available? How about Rob Blarke?

Posted by: thiazzi | May 15, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

@doughless and everyone else out there trashing Semin. If his thumb was damaged to the point he needed a shot to play every game since Game 1 of this series, I accept that as a legit reason for his lack of production. A jacked up hand effects the way a hockey player plays more than a broken foot. The skates can be fitted tight to almost act like a cast so the boys playing with a broken foot probably felt better in skates than out. Semin on the other hand could not handle the puck cleanly, and now we know why. His injury would effect every pass, reciept of a pass, and every shot. Semin has more balls than most of us because playing in the NHL is no joke. Trading Semin would be a mistake. He has proven that when his hand isn't messed up, he can produce in the playoffs as well as the regular season. He did it last year and the first round this season. His game was starting to come together too because his effort in Game 6 was one of the big reason we even had a game 7.

Posted by: fanohock1 | May 15, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse


Could you send a link to the piece about Ovechkin? I am not sure if I have read it or not.

Posted by: caraveli | May 15, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

I am a little concerned that McPhee still seems a bit unconcerned and casual about remedying these gaps.

McPhee, though, is the absolute master of saying one thing and doing something else. He's impossible to read. I actually met him once outside of hockey and found him to be plesant if completely unemotional. The "undertaker" nickname isn't so far off. (unless you make him snapa nd he takes swing at the opposing team's coach)

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 15, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

By the way, Semin could shoot and pass with vigor, although is accuracy was poor. I can't see any kind of injuries affecting accuracy but not strength...I can see though that being scared of getting hit would affect only your accuracy, not your strength... I call BS.

Posted by: atybat | May 15, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Jose will never share no. 1 duties with another goalie. In his mind, he is a no. 1 goalie. Can't fault him. BJ on the other hand, is content to playing 20-30 games as backup, gets along fine with the rest of the boys and does not sulk if he doesn't play. Give Varly 45-50 games, BJ 20-30 games, and give the rest to Neuvy when the other 2 are banged up.

Posted by: Andoy | May 15, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

hmmm.... big, mean, nasty defenseman? howse about Joe Finley making the team out of camp?

Posted by: uncommonsense | May 15, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

I love Brash and am terrified if we have to face him, but isn't Beagle a nice young, cheap replacement of him?

Posted by: Andoy | May 15, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

@ Fanohock

Like your thought on Afinogenov. I also think we may go after Cammalleri, he has ties to BB.

Posted by: ThePat | May 15, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

@caraveli: It wasn't an article, it was a video piece on NHL networks "NHL on the Fly" around midnight Wednesday into Thursday. Gary Green was pointing it out if I remember correctly.

Posted by: fanohock1 | May 15, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

I was just thinking, last year, besides resigning Feds, we didn't really upgrade the team. We actually got a less talented goalie in Jose to replace Huet. And the result of this year's 2nd round exit shows. We had minimal updrade and that equals minimal advancement. We NEED to bolster our team if we want to get deeper in the playoffs next year. Not only resigning important players but getting good free agents.

Posted by: Andoy | May 15, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

gmgm thinks nyls has recovered? shouldnt he know? how does paying him full salary to sit in the stands make more sense than buying him out. Sounds like we dont need anyone at the trade deadline logic......sign all the good old boys like fed brash and kozlov and blow offf hte playoffs again WTF

Posted by: wendel2 | May 15, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

I have been talking about Afinogenov all year. He is the perfect fit to play with Ovie and Backstrom. Left Handed shot plays RW. Incredibly Fast. Still young enough 29 i believe. Made 3.5 last year, but with what happened in Buffalo I am thinking his range drops to 2-2.5 mil like Kozlov was getting paid. He had a great 3 year stretch in Buffalo when they went to Easter Conference finals on back to back year. He was one of my favorite players to watch for a period of time. I still use his stick curve. He is great with the media in Buffalo, all teammates love him and even though he is a smaller guy not afraid to pay the price as was evident by the game with Florida this year.

OVIE-BACKSTROM-AFINOGENOV Line would Be a nightmare for the league with that kind of speed.

Posted by: lightshow | May 15, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Caps fans are so funny. Everybody has this excuse that the Caps lost because guys were hurt. Well I have news for you everybody at this point has injuries on every team. Everybody is saying our defense was bad because people were hurt. Well they must have been hurt all year then cause the defense has been bad all year. The Caps best defenseman is offensive minded and got exposed in the playoffs. Until they get better at defending the blue line and in front of the net they will continue to have problems.

Posted by: chrisd3758 | May 15, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Semin disappeared for long stretches throughout the season. again, IMO the team needs grit. the ONLY way to add it given the Caps salary caps issues is to get rid of some current team members. questions is: who goes?? a while back someone here fretted that the Caps are too one demensional. if one demensional it the sense of too many players that play a similar style game then I have to agree.

seriously, I love to see the highlight reel plays, but I would love even more to see the Cup raised in the Phone Booth. Unless the ownership of the Caps recognizes what it takes to win in the PLAYOFFS, the Cup wont be raised in DC anytime soon.

sorry to be a downer. i dont claim to be a hockey genius like Rantdino, but that is my opinion.

Posted by: doughless | May 15, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

trading Semin would be a big mistake, he might be fragile but snipers like him just don't come along everyday. We need a bodyguard who can also play the game for him and the rest of our skill players, someone like a Can Neely

Posted by: fatboy08 | May 15, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

I am a little concerned that McPhee still seems a bit unconcerned and casual about remedying these gaps.

Posted by: caraveli | May 15, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

is he supposed to jump up and down and yell about all the FA's he's going to go after? even if he had a pulse, mcphee wouldnt do that. he knows better than most what this team needs.

i firmly believe that the team made a conscious effort not to make and deadline deals because they view the caps best years as coming up. why mortgage some of your future now when you realize the team needs another year to get better. fans dont want to hear this because we always want to believe that mgmt is doing what it takes to win now. however, the team is trying to manage salaries and line up when players are coming off payroll or are up for big raises. they will have some cap space this year when koz, feds and maybe some of the RFA's come off the books and even more after next year when we bid a fond adieu to theo and nyls...just in time to pay backs and semin.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | May 15, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Hey Tarik,

Did BB or GMGM ever talk about our defense's constant inability of getting the puck out with outlet passes instead of dumping it blindly off the boards to have it trapped or intercepted by the Pens? That was really why the Pens kept us in, besides our dmen playing soft as charmin in front of the net.

Posted by: dbui72 | May 15, 2009 12:17 PM | Report abuse

JT at least played in the playoffs. Granted not very well, but he's got more than Huet has so far.

JT is a peer to Huet and at the same level.

Posted by: Greg S. | May 15, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

enough on knocking the D. most of the D played well. Lumberjack, Juice, Pothier, and Mo played pretty well. Poti had his moments. i wont mention someone else. The forwards have a big role in making the D work. Forwards didnt do their part. Pens and Rangers skated the puck at will through the center of the ice and beat Caps on the boards. FORWARDS bear some responsibility too.

Posted by: doughless | May 15, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

we don't need anymore speed, we need good grinders. How about Erik Cole?

Posted by: Andoy | May 15, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

will he be available?

Posted by: fatboy08 | May 15, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

y'all, there's another new post up.

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 15, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, JT was not Huet's peer this season. Huets GAA 2.53 (19th) and Save Pct 90.9 (29th). Theodore's GAA 2.81 (36th) and Save Pct 90.0 (40th). If Jose had Khaby on his team he would been relagated to the bench long before Huet was.

Posted by: fanohock1 | May 15, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Eric Cole is a Free Agent. But he made 4 mill last year and only 29. So no way we can afford him. Very good player but too expensive and not a good fit with Ovie and Backstrom. Afinogenov at 2 mil would be a great fit. This guy just had a down year in Buffalo. But he was also a beast for a 3 year stretch. I used to watch him alot. If he was here Caps fans would love him.

Posted by: lightshow | May 15, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

"bj. he was good til he got injured."

That sums up Brent Johnson's career.

Love the guy but at this stage he's not dependable as a 1A starter. He had his chance this year to outplay a guy making ten times his contract, and was good "until he got hurt".

Posted by: P-Mac | May 15, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

I guess it would make sense to keep Nylander this next year and see what happens, then if you have to buy him out in the last year of his contract, you are only buying out $3 million rather than a total of $8.5 million. You might think of it as biting the bullet this coming year so that you are in better shape the following year when the cap is supposed to go down...

Posted by: aybee27 | May 15, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse


What's your definition of "disappeared for long stretches throughout the season"? Semin had only two two-game streaks with no points. Same as Ovi.

Posted by: fnralch | May 15, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Re: Afinogenov

He would be a gamble given his past 2 seasons. What about Radulov? Rumor had it last year that he wanted to play in DC. If he refuses to return to Nashville, he could force a trade to a team of his choosing.

Posted by: thomas20 | May 15, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

someone hit their thumb with a hammer...then try gripping a hockey stick for 60+ minutes. EXACTLY, quit bashing semin.

we need to all get off the feds bandwagon though, he was really slow in the playoffs, and even though he had the game winner and has experience, i just don't see how 4 mil is worth that.

and kozzie's going to the khl anyway. we need a top solid gritty d man, and a 30 goal banger.

Posted by: iastdon | May 15, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Semin having a thumb injury just doesn't explain why he was awful, unless by thumb injury they meant brain and intestinal fortitude impairment. First, to discount the thumb...I've played with a bum thumb. As silly is it sounds, it's the one that causes the least problems b/c you can compensate with the other four. But let's say that his ouchie was so significant that he couldn't shoot well. Does that explain why he chose to try dipsy do moves at his own blue line instead of chipping it out? Does it explain why so many of his shots were blocked? He doesn't understand that quick shots can get to the net faster (and through the d-men) than hard shots. Also, if his thumb hurt, then there was no excuse for his legs not moving. So often he was left there just standing, not putting forth that extra effort (anyone see Malkin go down on one knee to block a shot in the 3rd period with his team up at least 4 goals?).

The guy has a lot of skill for regular season hockey. When it comes to the extremely tight-checking, gritty and physical play that is required for the playoffs...the guy just doesn't have it. Only hope is for a good demotion (3rd or 4th line) that might get the guy to focus on determination/effort.

Note -- I didn't even talk about his awful penchant for lazy penalties (hooking, holding) that often come at the worst time in games. He actually kept it somewhat in check in this series, primarily by not playing much D at all.

Posted by: basementcat | May 15, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse


1) skates in circles

2) passes 3 too many times

3) stupid/lazy penalties

4) easily pushed off the puck

5) got his lunch handed to him by Rags and Pens D-men

6) STUPID comment regarding Crosby

7) going to want a HUGE contract come time to resign him

8) looks disinterested quite often

9) plays bongos


Posted by: doughless | May 15, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Semin's line against the Rags: 5g, 3a, scoring more than AO did in the Rags series, and he had the 5th most assists in the playoffs.

Can we move on with the "Semin had a crappy postseason" meme?

Posted by: Section117 | May 15, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

It was a reply to a specific post, but it applies here also in regards to all the injuries.

@ atybat

Nothing annoys me more than fans who have never played even in a pickup game downplaying injuries and calling players who play professional sports at the very top level through major injuries soft.

It was obvious to any keen observer (like me and others who have posted about way before it was officially announced) that Semin and Green were badly injured so no, McPhee is not making it up as you seem to claim.

It sucks that by being brave and playing through pain players open themselves up for criticism from perspective-less couch potatoes like you.

I've made this analogy before. Say you have a very nice car that runs great. Pop a tire and damage the transmission and it's not the same car no matter how good it was before. Expecting it to run the same is just plain stupid, but somehow expecting a badly injured player to play at the same level makes sense for people like you.

Green's shoulder injury prevented him from being physical or taking hits, from shooting or passing hard. And I'll never know how anyone can play hockey with a broken foot (Poti and Semin).

Another analogy. In the old days of hand to hand combat imagine one warrior being either hit with an arrow or either slashed or stabbed with a sword. Do you think he would be just as effective after that against someone who is not injured? Get real.

The fact is that Semin, who you are calling soft, is 100 times tougher than you or other of his critics will ever be. You probably miss work with a cold and a paper cut. He plays professional hockey with a broken foot.

Posted by: ranndino | May 15, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse


Great reply to clueless about Semin. Couldn't agree more. I've even posted during the series saying that I've noted Semin constantly mishandling the puck. Handling the puck is what he's known for being one of the best in world at. It was obvious that the injury greatly affected him.


The fact that you're not a genius of any kind, hockey or otherwise, was already clear to everyone, but thanks for your honest confirmation.

Semin disappeared for long stretches of the season?

Yeah, that must be why he had the highest points per minutes played on the team, even significantly higher than Ovechkin. Do facts matter to you when you construct your opinions? Don't bother answering. It's a rhetorical question.

Where were you with your criticism after he was our best producer in round 1?

You should really think about changing your handle to clueless.

A trend has clearly emerged. There's a camp of doughless, atybat and cstanton1 and then there are posters with a brain.

Posted by: ranndino | May 15, 2009 1:55 PM | Report abuse

@ doughless

5) got his lunch handed to him by Rags and Pens D-men


Did you even watch the Rangers series? He was our top goal scorer. If that = having his lunch handed to him I'm not sure what planet you live on. You are a complete idiot.

Yeah, let's have a whole team of Boyd Gordons. That will guarantee us a Stanley Cup every year.

So tired of reading this inane garbage. There are 29 teams in the NHL who would love to have Semin any day.

Posted by: ranndino | May 15, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

I've been enjoying this blog for months. I thought it was time to weigh in, and get folks thoughts. Let's remember that the TOP THREE teams in the East are all out of the playoffs. The top team in the West is also out of the playoffs. Do all these teams need to revamp their rosters to make it deeper into the playoffs? Perhaps yes, perhaps no. In January, it looked like Boston was the team to beat. In March, when Brodeur returned, it looked like NJ was the team to beat. Each of these teams lost in the first round. Sometimes hot teams (e.g. Carolina) go on a great run. Most of the time you just need to have a really solid team (Detroit) or a solid team with some last minute additions (Pittsburgh -- which was also the hottest team in the league going into the playoffs). Only 1 team can win the Stanley Cup. That said, the Caps do need to upgrade, and GMGM knows this.

I think the Caps need to be careful about dialing back too much towards defense. That is just not the style of our team. Still, we will definitely need stronger defense for the playoffs next year. As others have noted, a lot of the blame must go to our forwards, who don't backcheck. The Pens dominated us on backchecking (among other things).

Last question: how do Pens fans feel about Fleury. I think he is a pretty weak goaltender. Pens outshot the Capitals (by a wide margin) in all 7 games, yet still lost 3 games. Imagine what the Pens would be with a premier goaltender. They would be nearly unbeatable.

Posted by: potomacdad | May 15, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

You always speak of authority and conclude that anyone who disagrees must be brainless or has not played the game. Just to set you straight, I played division I in Europe for 7 years and coached for 5 more.
So, I will repeat myself... and will do it slowly so it can penetrate your large egotistical skull... Semin could shoot hard but not accurately thus, his thumb was not a major problem. It's a cope out and I called it for what it is. It has happened before during the season ("the upper body injury")and Boudreau referred to Semin in front of me and a group of a few others as "he hurt his
Now, please go playing world of warcraft.

Posted by: atybat | May 15, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

@fanohock1:thanks; I was too lazy to watch the videos. I will now.

I agree with what folks said about McPhee. You can certainly not take what he says literally. The one thing I don't agree with him is leaving the goalie position weak for a number of years now. And Huet was miles better than Theo for the Caps. Don't even bother with stats or accomplishments. As part of the Caps team, Huet did enormously better than Theo. And the team trusted him, unlike Theo.

Fleury may have not been as impressive and spectacular as Varly, but who came through when the team really needed him? And this was BOTH against Philly and against DC.

We have isolated brilliance but lack the balance and mind set that produces continuity and reliability. And we lack grit, as it became apparent.

Posted by: caraveli | May 15, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Come on no injury Excuses and please bring in a gritty forward like an Upshal or Knuble. Someone who crashes the net. I can count the number of times we went to the net. We need maturity. Canes showed what a mature team can do in a pressure packed situation.

Posted by: diner99 | May 15, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse

The bashing of Semin is senseless if he was playing with a thumb injury that was the result of a slash who took at the end of Game 1. It was obvious that he couldn't generate anything on a slapshot which reduced him to taking close in wrist shots. I'm not a doctor, but would think that a thumb injury would make even holding a stick difficult.

I give the injured players, particularly Poti and Erskine, kudos for continuing to play through serious injuries. The fact that we had four injured defenseman may have contributed a bit to why they weren't able to keep up with Pens after the 1st couple of games.

Posted by: wizfan89 | May 15, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Injured thumb? I thought they said that he had an injury that would have "definitely" kept him out of the regular season line up.

If an injured thumb makes you scared to touch the puck then your in the wrong sport. He's good when he's not waiting for someone to hold his hand...This kid needs to grow up and get a little tougher. I move for boxing classes in the off season...He'll learn how to fight and he'll get some tougher skin.

Posted by: CapsFan44 | May 15, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

AND DAMNIT. We better not have to deal with another year of circles holding up someone else's spot on the team. Thats rediculous if GMGM doesn't put him on the next plane out of town.

Posted by: CapsFan44 | May 15, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

keep Semin, he can be one of the best players in the game. Just figure out how to make it work. With a broken thumb, a great stickhandler and shooter is definitely going to be less effective. At least now we know why he was so ineffective. Remember, without Semin, we would not have made it past the Rangers. And he was dynamite last year against a more physical Flyers team.

The injury prone thing is real. It's a crap shoot but at least it does bring his price down for us to keep him.

Is he injury prone because other players get away with crap against him? Is this other teams' way of retaliating against Ovie's big hits? (Since they can't take it out on Ovie?)

Posted by: WritingLight | May 15, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Basically...if there aren't a few key moves made we'll be enjoying this same position next year.

Posted by: CapsFan44 | May 15, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse one seems to be able to make a credible link between Semin's little thumb injury and his ridiculous turnovers. When I've been injured and playing, I live by the rule "first do no harm." That means I get the puck out of my zone; I don't dipsy do. Semin hasn't learned that yet. Also, unless he has to take a few moments to artfully move his thumb out of the way before he shoots, then the injury has nothing to do with him getting his shots blocked constantly. He likes to toe drag before he shoots...there's not enough time to do that in the playoffs.

Also, what explains the ease with which he was moved off the puck?

As I said before, he's a skilled guy...he can score goals. And,'s the great part...he can improve his

- working on his shot delivery so that, when necessary, he can get off a quick shot;
- knowing when/how to simplify his game (against a relentless forecheck, sometimes you're just gonna have to pass on the pretty deke and instead chip it up the boards);
- refraining from the lazy penalties (e.g. skate hard);

Until he does that, and until he shows some grit, "I don't see what's so special."

Posted by: basementcat | May 15, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

The injuries are nothing more than excuses for poor play. Everyone is banged up this time of year.

Get rid of everyone that brought up an injury to the media within 48 hours of the loss. That includes BB, because I'm pretty sure he sprained his tongue trying to blame everyone else.

Posted by: dan_comet | May 17, 2009 9:28 PM | Report abuse

@atybat: Cry us a river, atybat. Poor you. Like a bitter ol' queen, you're gonna' rag on Alexander Semin. What gives, dude? You can talk until you're blue in the face but I disagree with your "analysis" of Semin's play during the quarterfinals. My condolences that your run for ice hockey greatness ended. Boo frickin' hoo. Stop living in the past. If you and Semin had a shoot out match, I highly doubt you could even measure up. Would that then explain your oversight on the number of amazing moves Semin had during the playoffs? Or is there nothing else going on for you other than your "shoulda, coulda, wouldas".

Alexander Semin is an amazing player. Get over yourself, man. You just look sad, dude. Sad.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | May 18, 2009 2:16 AM | Report abuse

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