WASHINGTON -- A message can only be lost in translation so long.
Russian, English, Braille. For all the positives Washington Capitals forward Alexander Semin brings to the team -- like a goal and an assist on Tuesday -- he never has decoded a very crucial message: cut out the ill-timed penalties.
“He was our best offensive player, but at the same time he's been doing the same thing he's done for the last five years,” Caps coach Bruce Boudreau bristled after his team's 3-2 shootout loss to the Carolina Hurricanes. “He took a dumb penalty with four minutes to go in the game. The refs didn't want to call the penalty, but they had to call it.”
Semin, who is as media shy as they come, did not talk to reporters after the game. The Caps successfully killed off Semin's hooking penalty, an infraction 'Canes rookie Jeff Skinner drew near center ice.
Semin didn't take a single shift in overtime, either as punishment or fear that he'd take another bad penalty. Semin, the team's second-leading scorer with 27 goals, usually gets a fair dose of ice time in OT. He also was absent in the shootout, even though he's usually called upon there as well.
-- A.J. Perez