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The Other Alex

Alexander Semin hasn't reached star status in the NHL, but the 22-year-old left wing is certainly making a case for himself.

In the Caps' 5-4 loss to the Lightning last night, Semin scored two more goals, giving him seven in four games. Let me repeat that: SEVEN! goals in FOUR! games, during which Caps have a 3-1 record.

Semin has scored a total of 24 times this season, which is only four fewer than the Capitals' more famous Alex, as in Ovechkin, who is tied with Tampa Bay's Martin St. Louis and Anaheim's Teemu Selanne for the NHL lead.

What's more impressive to me is that Semin ranks eighth overall in goals, putting him slightly behind some pretty big names - Brendan Shanahan, Marian Hossa, Vincent Lecavalier, Dany Heatley? That's like the who's who of NHL snipers. And Semin is among them.

Before Semin arrived, scouts and other NHL officials told me about his wicked wrist shot. They went on and on about his sick stick-handling ability. Some even went as far as to say he had better hands than Ovechkin just not quite the skating ability.

I was skeptical. I was also wrong. Semin is better than the mid-level star some have projected him to be. And I think he's proved that with his play over the past week.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  January 12, 2007; 12:43 PM ET
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