Capitals right wing Alex Semin probably didnt need to be reminded that through 13 games hes committed more minor penalties (nine) than hes recorded points (eight).
But just to be sure, Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau sat down with the 27-year-old veteran on Thursday and showed him some video clips of the penalties hes been taking this season.
Its about moving your legs, Boudreau said, and not getting lazy.
For all of his tremendous skill he scored 176 goals in his last five seasons with the Caps -- Semin has become an easy target for referees.
Two seasons ago he finished seventh among NHL forwards with 40 goals and 12th among forwards with 33 minor penalties.
Last season, he dipped to 34th among NHL forwards with 27 goals while cutting his minors down to 27, ranking 25th among forwards.
This season? Semin is on pace for just 19 goals and 57 minor penalties.
Im really not sure whats going on with the penalties, Semin through said Thursday through an interpreter. Im kind of puzzled myself. I dont know for sure if all of those penalties were really penalties or not, but it is what it is and Im going to try to make sure it doesnt happen again.
I dont really pay that much attention to the referees. They are what they are. I just think its some kind of a dark period and Im sure it will be through soon.
As for his inability to find the back of the net this season, Semin and Boudreau believe an offensive explosion could be just around the corner. When the Capitals return to action Friday night against the Devils in Newark, Semin is expected to be on a line with playmakers Nicklas Backstrom and Brooks Laich.
Theres no reason to think Alexander Semin has all of a sudden become a bad hockey player, Boudreau said. He skates too well, he handles the puck too well, he shoots too well. Hes going to break out.
Boudreau said he had a similar feeling about defenseman Mike Green just before his four-point night against the Detrroit Red Wings on Oct. 22. Green has not played since but could return to the lineup Friday night.
Alexander Semin is in he same boat and Alexander Ovechkin is going to be the same way, Boudreau said. One day very soon its not going to be one or two goals, hes going to get a five-point night. Its just going to happen because thats what these guys are, theyre very good players.
Who knows when its going to happen, but weve got 10 games in 19 nights. It wouldnt surprise me if it happened for either of them in those 10 games.
Semin said that despite his poor start offensively, he feels hes played a solid overall game this season and simply hasnt been rewarded with goals.
Last year I started really well, so Im hoping the bad part of this season is over and the good part is just about to begin, Semin said. I just have to work harder, thats all.
The coach has told me that aside from scoring he is happy with my game this year, especially with the way I play on the defense. Scoring is just one component of my game and hopefully it will return.