2011-2012 Washington Capitals Player Profile: Alex Semin
While the biggest star on the Capitals is definitely Alex Ovechkin, one could argue that the second biggest star is Alex Semin, or as fans call him, “Sasha”. Semin has become a fan favorite thanks to his exciting style of play and his lovable personality.
While Alex Semin has spent his entire NHL career with the Capitals, getting to the Capitals was quite an experience. He was drafted by the Capitals in the 2002 NHL draft and made his debut in 2003. In 52 games, he scored 10 goals and 12 assists. After the 2003-2004 season, there was the NHL lockout. Like many players, Semin returned to Russia instead of reporting to the Hershey Bears. Due to confusion regarding Semin’s military status, he was not allowed to return to the States after the lockout. He wasn’t allowed to return because he had to serve in the military for two years. Luckily for Semin, Russia allowed their soldiers to play on professional teams in Russia. Semin got his service out of the way, and was able to return to the Caps in 2006. He impressed during training camp, and hasn’t looked back since then.
Semin is known around the NHL as one of the best puck handlers in the league. I wouldn’t argue with that assessment. He’s also the most reliable player in shootouts for the Capitals. What makes him so deadly in shootouts is his variety of moves. Most guys have that one move that they go to, such as a Triple Deke glove side shot. Semin has at least five different moves he’ll use in shootouts, and he’s perfected each of them. He’s also very explosive, which makes him a huge threat on breakaways.
Despite his production and his lovable personality, Semin can give fans headaches at times for several reasons. First of all, he has a tendency to commit dumb penalties. If he can get over that hump, I think he’ll become a much better player. Also, he’s a streaky scorer. He’ll have a period of ten games where it will seem like he’s the second coming of Wayne Gretzky, and then for the next 20 he’ll do nothing. When he’s cold, he tries too hard to force himself out of his slump, and he gets selfish with the puck. He also has a reputation for not hustling back on defense, although I think those days are behind him. He’s improved his overall game a lot this year, even if the points don’t suggest it.
Alex Semin is very active in the community, especially in local schools. Through his charity, he provides tickets for numerous organizations. He’ll be a free agent after this year, and though I don’t think he will return due to his price tag, I’ll always be a fan of Alex Semin.
For Alex Semin’s career stats, click here.
I’ll always remember Semin for this goal: