On November 11 in Newark, N.J., Bruce Boudreau sat Alexander Semin on the bench for more than half the game.
“I just thought, you take another penalty and at the same time there was some plays where I thought he could’ve done a little bit more and he didn’t,” Boudreau said. “I’ve had him for four years now. It just didn’t look like he had it tonight.”
On November 21 at home, Boudreau made Semin a healthy scratch for the first time since the Russian winger’s rookie year.
“We’ve scratched guys. He was taking penalties seven games in a row,” Boudreau said. “At some point you have to be accountable for your errors. I don’t like doing those things to people that are that talented, but everybody’s got to know that everybody’s accountable. It was a tough decision, but it was a decision, I thought, that had to be made for the group.”
But the recently fired Boudreau said his relationship with Semin was not a bad one.
“As far as Alex Semin goes, I think I understood him better than most,” Boudreau said. “I talked to his agent at length in preseason, and I think we were on a pretty good same level of thinking. He might’ve wanted to play more, and the ice time he was talking about, but what player doesn’t want to play more? I don’t know. I think he wanted to score more.”
Semin has five goals, five assists, a minus-3 rating and 32 penalty minutes this season.