Semin is in the Top 10 of the most talented players in the league. Bold statement but true statement.
The thing that has been concerning about Semin in his early career has been the lack of consistancy. Even Washington fans will tell you he looks better than Ovechkin on one shift and then does something totally bonehead that makes you wonder where all that elite skill went. If he can ever cut out those periods of time where he slows down in production and effectiveness then he'll be a 50 goal scorer in no time.
He is quite the player, indeed. I want to see him play his contract year: if healthy, he is going to go off. I'd wager that he pots 50 during the contract year when the 9.2M (or whatever it was) contract is up.
Semin has more skill, but ovechkin's athletic abilty (size/strength/speed combination) and drive is what sets him apart from semin and every other winger in the league. Semin is the quintessential sniper though. That shot, as others have stated, is deadly.
From most wingers, I'd agree, but I think there is more than a slight similarity between Ovechkin and Kovalchuk. Both big, strong, very fast wingers who absolutely love taking the puck to the net, shooting and scoring.
As for Semin, he is just a fantastically skilled player with the puck. Seems there isn't anything he can't do with the puck.
I'd say it's possible that he could eclipse Ovechkin in production this season. It's still early, but every single area of Semin's game has improved this season - especially his strength/balance/board play and his drive. He actually comes to play on every shift now.
His release is better than Ovechkin. I just think Ovechkin shoots harder and more often than Semin. From the way it looks in person, picking up Semin's shot looks like trying to track a lacrosse whip. He hardly flexes the stick and it whips out instantly with a tremendous amount of velocity. Between Semin and Nathan Horton it's hard to say who has the better wrister in the SE division.
I think Ovechkin has more shots in his arsenal that are elite level than does Semin, but Semin may well have a better wrist shot. Ovechkin for instance can adjust his body to get 100% on a one time slap shot in ways that no other player can. Semin's one timer is good but Ovechkin can shoot Semin's best one timer with only one skate on the ice.
Semin's wrister can be shot flat footed, like what he did to Fluery last week, as hard as Ov's best. Semin can shoot it like that from between his skates and with accuracy.
As to Semin's focus, something changed in the playoffs last season. His game elevated with his intensity and it hasn't come back down yet. Its like he learned something about the game or himself that he can apply. As long as he continues to face team's 2nd pair and an not their checking forward line and has a #1 line level center with him, he is going to torch the NHL.
I doubt anyone has the doodads to take their best defense crew off of Ovechkin to try and slow down Semin.
What impresses me most about Semin is his ability to work in small spaces. That guy could get a nasty shot off in a broom closet.
That's true and what is so odd is that Nylander can skate circles inside the same broom closet. They may be the two most difficult players in the NHL to cut off their time and space, because they require so little of it.