Photo credit: Evan Vucci
Does Alex Semin Care? That was the dominant headline before training camp. On August 17th, former Cap Matt Bradley spoke candidly to an Ottawa radio station and questioned the Russian winger’s commitment to hockey and the team. “When you’ve got a guy like that, you need him to be your best player, or one of your best players, and when he doesn’t show up, you almost get the sense that he wants to be back in Russia.”
With a minute left in the third period of Thursday’s game and the Caps up only a goal, Alex Semin showed how much he loved DC by putting the Capitals back in the playoffs for the fifth consecutive season with a dazzling individual play. As two Florida Panther defenders shadowed Brooks Laich along the boards, Sasha Minor — unguarded in the corner — took a pass, went strong to the net, and lifted a backhanded shot over Jose Theodore.
Video is below the jump.
To celebrate, the elated Semin apparently couldn’t decide between punching the glass or kicking the boards. So naturally, he did both to disastrous effect. As both hand and foot hit board, Semin lost his balance and clumsily fell to the ice. There he laid for several seconds, resembling a fallen Civil War soldier, until his teammates greeted him with back pats, head rubs, and an ice spray.
Maybe Brads was wrong, maybe Brads was right. But in the end, Semin concluded the Capitals’ 2011-12 regular season the same way it began: with a goal.
Now that’s what I call consistency.