The New Enforcer in the NHL

Mike ScydickContributor IJanuary 5, 2009

As I was checking my fantasy hockey teams I noticed an odd stat for one fragile Alexander Semin.  The odd stat was not that he actually came back from a cross check injury to the back; it was the 15 penalty minutes he received in the third period.

So I had to look up the game recap and saw that Semin received five for fighting and a ten minute game misconduct for not having his jersey strapped down.  I looked up the fight on You Tube and I have never laughed so hard in my life.

Please watch the video and you will see what I mean.

Now after watching that horrible display of fighting and listening to the announcers laugh at him I read this quote by Washington center Dave Steckel, “He stood up for himself, so good for him, the guy scores 30 goals a year and you see him go to the net hard and get in a fight after—it riles the boys quite a bit.”

I do think it was gutsy for Semin to stand up for himself against Staal, so I give him kudos for that, but to say that riles the boys quite a bit, I think Steckel is just being kind to his teammate.  If I was Alexander Semin I might want to ask my teammate Donald Brashear to show me how to throw a punch in case he ever has to rile up the team again.

Rookie Watch

The top three players for the Calder Trophy are all located in the Central Division, Kris Versteeg of Chicago, Patrik Berglund of St. Louis, and Steve Mason of Columbus. Derick Brassard was on his way to winning it before having to miss the rest of the season with shoulder surgery.

Versteeg leads all rookies in points with 32, assists with 20, and is one goal shy of the rookie lead in goals. Berglund is second in points with 25 and is more balanced with goals 12 and assists 13.

Steve Mason is leading all NHL goalies with a 1.81 GAA, tied for first with a .933 Save %, tied for first in Shutouts with five, and tied for 12th in wins with 13 after playing only 22 games.

Columbus is 13-8-1 with Mason starting, and 5-9-3 without him.  As of right now Columbus is 1 point out of a playoff spot and if Mason can keep his play going the way it is Columbus could make the playoffs for the first time in franchise history and Mason would walk away with the Calder.