The Many Faces of Mercurial 28
So we probably don’t need to mention – again – that we’re Seminites. Seems word has gotten around that we’re both fans…one of us in particular is in a swoon for Sasha. (The other thinks Mike Knuble is just…dayam!) And we’re not alone. Just last weekend at a gathering a charming young woman offered this: “He’s just breath-taking!”
PuckBuddy Craig agrees: “You can’t take a bad picture of him.” But PuckBuddy Doug is starting to wonder. In particular just which Sasha are we seeing on any given night?
Last night was the latest example. While it was great to see Arnott back in the game and Ovie attack the ice – and bust a few chops – last night, the evening seemed to be all Sasha’s. Others have said it, but it’s true: when he’s good, he’s good. Nicky may have the tenacity, Greenie the guts and Ovie the animal power, but good Sasha is just beautiful on the ice. That second period goal? Just wow. And his assist? Good Sahsa.
But you just never know who you’re going to get from period to period, and somewhere along the way Good Sasha gave way to Bad Sasha. Dumb penalty Sasha. Sleep, sloppy Sasha.
Clearly, this bugs him. He said as much when he bridled at this very question in his CSN interview in 2009. “Writers? Journalists? Fans? Are they down there on the ice?” he growled. No, we’re not.
Perhaps it’s those moments of briliance that create the problem. You see what he can do – how artful he can make the game – and you come to expect that of him every time. Sure, we pay athletes and entertainers to do exactly that – hit each high note, dunk every ball, reliably and regularly. But hockey is not dinner theater, and part of the joy of watching the game is the moment-to-moment uncertainty of it all.
Haters will hate, but for use there’s nothing to hate about Semin except that at times he’s just too good…and when he’s not, it’s disappointing. Maybe he needs a little dose of Backstrom – a little less art, a little more humility, some Scandihoovian rigor. Maybe BFF Ovie can help settle him down. Maybe Arnott can be a bit of the older brother or parent that our boy might need.
We still love you 28, and so do a lot of others. So for us, what say we start seeing some more of Good Sasha and a little less Bad Sasha.