According to Sky Kerstein at 106.7 The Fan, right wing Alexander Semin will return to the Washington Capitals’ lineup tonight. Shortly following practice head coach Bruce Boudreau confirmed his talented forward would return after missing 12 games and exactly a month. To make room for Semin, the club reassigned forward Jay Beagle to the Hershey Bears of the AHL. Semin also likely takes his spot on the team’s second line, next to Mathieu Perreault and Brooks Laich.
Apparently prior to Semin actually sitting out, he was hurt for roughly three weeks prior, which further explained his 14-game goalless streak. The Capitals remained status quo over those three weeks without Semin’s scoring, managing a decent 6-5-3 record over that span. Considering his 18 goals currently place him second on the team and just two behind Alexander Ovechkin despite missing 15 games, the team needs him to get healthy and score consistently.
However, the team’s woes do not end with Semin, who currently projects for 27 goals– his lowest totals since 2007-2008.
Mike Green might miss tonight’s game with a concussion after already missing seven games due to an assortment of injuries. Not only has the All-Star struggled to stay healthy he too struggled with finding his consistency as he is on pace for 12 goals– his lowest goal-total since 2006-2007. Rookie defenseman John Carlson actually produced more assists than Green and sits only two points behind him for the lead amongst defensemen on the team. Green remains questionable for tonight’s game but feels better as he recovers from a concussion; he should play on Saturday when the team hosts the Los Angeles Kings.
Both players regressing shows a problem with their overall consistency. Injuries have forced them to play from behind, forcing them to find their rhythm in the midst of a playoff race. The additional pressure likely did not and will not help but until the Caps win on the back of their strengths they will be less successful than in the past.
Green and Semin need to get healthy and produce for the Caps to safely make the playoffs. Until then they will continue to watch Tampa Bay run away with the Southeast Division.