Alexander Semin, Nate Thompson

Alex Semin is frustrating the Caps with dumb penalties again


We all know that when Alexander Semin tries he can be a great offensive player. This season, however, he’s been better at putting his team down a man than up by a goal. With 18 penalty minutes on the season, Semin is the Caps’ de facto “goon” in that he’s leading the team in penalties. For a guy that’s supposed to help the team score goals, that’s no good.

Semin’s play last night in a circus-like performance losing 5-2 to Dallas came under fire by coach Bruce Boudreau. Boudreau cut Semin’s ice time last night after taking a brutal penalty that led to a game-changing power play goal. Boudreau ranted after the game and’s Chuck Gormley was there to get the brunt of his frustration with Semin and what to do to fix it.

“You address it by taking ice time away,” Boudreau said. “Alex Semin got two shifts after that penalty and they were both on power plays. As hard as he worked in the first period – he scored a goal – he can’t be leading our team in minors. He’s got nine minors in 13 games. That can’t be done. He’s got to move his legs and not take those penalties.”

Gormley suggests that perhaps the last way left to get through to Semin is to scratch him for a game and learn his lesson. It’d be a harsh way to go about things, but if Boudreau is at the breaking point, it could be the only way to make it clear that dumb penalties won’t be tolerated. Would that be too harsh or the right way to go about it?

Jason Demers tweets #FreeTorres, gets mocked

Los Angeles Kings v San Jose Sharks - Game One

Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.

We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.

It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”

Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)

Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.

So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”

… You get the idea.

The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.

The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.

Bruins list Chara on IR, for now

Zdeno Chara

Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.

It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.

The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.

As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.

Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?

The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.

This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.