Alex Semin skated on the fourth line again this morning, taking line rushes alongside Mike Knuble and Keith Aucoin, just like he did yesterday.
The talented-but-maligned forward was whistled for two penalties Saturday in Washington’s 3-1 loss to the Rangers, one of them a retaliatory slash on New York’s Ryan Callahan that canceled a Capitals power play.
However, that wasn’t the reason he was demoted to the fourth line, if you believe what coach Dale Hunter said yesterday.
“No, just mixing the lines up,” Hunter said, as per NHL.com. “The one, he went for the puck and he hit a skate. The other one, both of them should’ve went. It was a cross check. If you watch the replay, [Callahan] cross checked him first. But you can’t retaliate. You just can’t retaliate. The ref, he called one. He could’ve easily called two. But that’s the way it goes.”
Today, Hunter said he still expects Semin to contribute offensively.
“He’ll go out and work hard,” Hunter said. “We need him to score goals for us, we need him to play good on the PP.”