frustration

Alexander Semin, Nate Thompson

Alex Semin is frustrating the Caps with dumb penalties again

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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 CSNWashington.com’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?

Canucks owner vented frustration at losing Stanley Cup to reporters following Game 7

Francesco Aquilini
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Vancouver’s loss in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals managed to bring out a lot of the worst in everyone. While the lasting memory will be of Canucks fans and local hoodlums who decided that burning the city down and rioting was the right way to grieve after a loss, the ugliness wasn’t just just kept on the outside of Rogers Arena as it turns out.

Canucks owner Francesco Aquilini was in attendance at Game 7 and while that’s a home game for him and not all too surprising, he apparently wasn’t in the greatest of moods following Vancouver’s 4-0 loss to Boston in Game 7. While that much would be understandable, about the last people you’d want to lash out at or near would be the hordes of media who descended upon Vancouver to see the Stanley Cup handed out.

As it turns out, Aquilini missed that day in PR class according to legendary Edmonton Sun writer Terry Jones. Jones’ scathing column dressing down Vancouver for their fans’ antics both in burning the city down and being perhaps some of the least friendly fans on the Internet also took Aquilini to task for being less than cordial.

Like the Canucks, who told us again and again that they’d learned their lessons, Vancouver claimed they’d learned theirs from 1994. Neither learned a thing.

It wasn’t just the idiots who rioted. Reaction from the exceedingly large lunatic fringe of fans from the other side of the mountains was unbelievable via Twitter, email, etc. throughout the playoffs. Rude. Obnoxious. Begging to be blocked. These are the same people who harbour conspiracy theories, who reportedly threw projectiles at Gary Bettman on the ice during the Stanley Cup presentation and one who shouted out while rioting that “this is all Bettman’s fault!”

It ended with Vancouver owner Francesco Aquilini telling multiple members of the media in the Canucks dressing room to go fornicate elsewhere.

Well isn’t that just lovely.

There are many very cool and wonderful Canucks fans to be found out on the Internet and real life. Heck, most of you post here for comments (note: we’re shameless) there’s an obvious disgusting underbelly of fans who bring shame to the rest of the lot. From those who decided to torch downtown Vancouver to those who verbally harangued former Calgary Flames star Theo Fleury via Twitter who had the audacity to say that he didn’t think Roberto Luongo could win them the Stanley Cup this year, the ugly side of fandom was out in force in Vancouver.

With all the disgusting comments thrown Fleury’s way it would ultimately be Fleury who got the last laugh as the Canucks came up short of winning their first Stanley Cup and Luongo would be front and center of the discussion. Life has a funny way of working out that way. Sometimes when you see a fan base take a loss as hard as a Stanley Cup Game 7 can be you feel sympathy for them for being so close to coming out on top only to fall short.

That brand of emotional outpouring was hard to come by in this case because there’s been so many ugly things surrounding this Canucks team and it starts from the top on down with Aquilini being unable to conduct himself as a professional. All of these reactions are inexcusable and it helps make life more miserable for those great fans in Vancouver and around the world who bleed blue and green. For them we feel sorry for for more than just losing their shot at the Stanley Cup. After all, when you’re saddled with such sad individuals as compatriots it makes being a fan that much more difficult.