Alex Semin is expected to be a healthy scratch for the Montreal Canadiens against the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday night, continuing the years-long tradition of Alex Semin seemingly playing well in the eyes of some and being an obvious candidate for benching for others.
Semin has a goal and three assists in 10 games this season for the Canadiens, who are 9-1-0. He’s averaged 13:43 of ice time, skating on the team’s second line. That ice time includes an average of 2:42 per game on the power play.
On the pro-benching front: Only David Desharnais has been on the ice for more goals at even strength than Semin. He has 14 shots on goal in 10 games, and 108 shot attempts, according to War On Ice – sixth out of the team’s top six forwards. The un-exact science of NHL stats gives him six giveaways, most among Canadiens forwards.
But as was the case in his stops with the Washington Capitals and Carolina Hurricanes, there’s a case to be made that Semin is far from being problematic for his team. His 5v5 Corsi is 53.85-percent, which as Marc Dumont shows makes him hardly the worst forward on Montreal:
IF Semin is a healthy scratch, I disagree with it, mostly because he's been far from Montreal's worst forward. pic.twitter.com/YDdR54M0p0
— Marc Dumont (@MarcPDumont) October 29, 2015
The eye test with Semin … well, it’s like a magic eye test. Some people see an ineffective invisible forward that doesn’t backcheck. Others see an effective forward even when he’s not scoring.
Anyway, Michel Therrien makes an example of the Russian player. Who had October 29th in the pool?
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