After Montreal's stunning upset of the Washington Capitals, many fans are looking for someone to blame. While no one specifically can be pointed out, it was evident that two players, critical to the Capitals, failed to show up.
Everyone knows who they are, and so do the two of them. Alexander Semin and Mike Green had stunning regular seasons. Semin scored 40 goals in the regular season. Green tallied 76 total points, beating all other defensemen and getting him a nomination for the Norris Trophy for the second year in a row.
In the playoffs, Green recorded three assists, and Semin got two assists. That's it. On 44 shots, Alexander Semin got completely dominated by Montreal's miracle worker, Jaroslav Halak.
As far as Green, a defensemen isn't asked to do that much offensivley, except when you're Mike Green. Green was a pivotal part in Washington's top ranked powerplay, which went 1 for 33 against Montreal. When he flops, the power-play flops, and the team flops.
Green's poor defense in the series and crucial turnovers, including a game seven turnover which led to the game winning goal, killed the Capitals. However, it is Semin who should go.
Why Semin? Quite frankly, he can be replaced and Green can't. The Capitals are already deep enough in goal scorers that someone can step up. He probably won't score 40+ goals, but he'll do enough, because the Capitals didn't need Semin to score all 40 of those goals.
Green is much tougher to be replaced. There are few defensemen in the league that have the offensive talent that Green has, and those teams aren't giving them up. There are plenty of other forwards as good as Semin. Replacing Semin is not replacing Ovechkin or Crosby, or Mike Green for that matter.
And the last reason is he is valuable. Boston ranked dead last in goals per game and goals for. They were the only team not able to score more than 200 goals, tallying 196. Needless to say, they could use a playmaker on offense besides Satan or Savard, and can offer up a good defensive defensman in return.
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