Now that Capitals right wing Alex Semin has suffered the embarrassment of being a healthy scratch for the first time since his rookie season, whats next for the 27-year-old Russian?
With Semin watching the game in street clothes, the Caps broke their four-game losing streak Monday night with a 4-3 win over the Phoenix Coyotes, begging this question:
Will coach Bruce Boudreau keep Semin out of the lineup when the Caps return to action Wednesday night against the Winnipeg Jets?
Boudreau would not discuss his next move with Semin, but explained why he was a healthy scratch.
Hes taken penalties seven games in a row, Boudreau said. At some point you have to be accountable for your errors. We dont like doing those things to people that are that talented, but everybodys got to know that everybodys accountable.
That was a tough decision but it was a decision that I thought had to be made for the group. It notes that everybodys on alert. We have to play the right way to be successful.
Capitals right wing Mike Knuble credited Boudreau for standing by his training camp promise to hold every player accountable regardless of his salary or stature on the team. Semin ranks second on the Capitals with a 6.7 million salary but is tied for sixth with four goals.
It can boost your whole team a little bit when someone gets taken out and a couple guys move around and try to play a little harder, Knuble said.
Hes a proud person. Nobody who plays in the National Hockey League likes to be sat out and made an example of that way. I would expect better play.
Asked if it is a good thing that Boudreau made such a strong statement, Knuble said, Yeah, theyre getting older. It was fine when they were younger and you had to live with their mistakes.
But weve got an older group here now. Guys have matured. Theyve been here five or six years and we cant let things keep sliding and just sweep it under the rug. Nobodys making a mountain out of a mole hill but he should be ready the next time he gets to play.