Alex Semin

Photo credit: Dilip Vishwanat

When it comes to Alex Semin, there are fans on both sides of the fence. Some people think the $6.7 million one year deal is a fair one, while others, like me, think it is a tad too much. Part of it boils down to whether you think Sasha Minor is able to give consistent performance night in and night out. In other words, should players be rewarded even if they can’t produce consistently?

All hockey players, particularly goal scorers, hit slumps. A skater that shoots 14.5% for the season will have some nights when a third of his shots light the lamp and others that are goose eggs– it’s all in the game of hockey. In fact, it’s possible that the skater is not actually streaky by nature, but due to some bad bounces he appears streaky.

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Prospect Watch Extra: Evgeny Kuznetsov Turns Heads

Evgeny Kuznetsov

Before the 2010 draft, the highest-rated Russian prospect, Vladimir Tarasenko, was asked what some scouts thought to be a simple question: “Who’s better between you and Evgeny Kuznetsov?”

Tarasenko recalled his answer in a December 29th interview:

I said, “I don’t know.” They said, “You must answer.” I said, “Kuznetsov.” They asked, “Why did you pick him?” I responded, “Ask Zhenya and he’ll say Tarasenko’s better.” I explained it’s a speciality of the Russians. Unlike Canadians, we’ll never say, “I’m the best.”

Lately, the Capitals’ top prospect has played so well that maybe Tarasenko’s humility was more objective fact than “Russian mentality”. Let’s consider Kuznetsov’s achievements over the past few weeks.

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