The Washington Capitals were given not one but two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties in the third period of their 4-2 loss to the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday night. Center Mike Ribeiro was also given a 10-minute misconduct that meant he was out of the game; Joey Crabb was called for his unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, “abuse of officials,” while sitting on the bench.
Both were penalized for talking to referees.
So what exactly happened?
Crabb was penalized at 15:14 of the third.
“They’re cracking down on some of the talking, I think. The linesman just kind of got in the way of the chip and I mentioned something and the ref overheard me,” Crabb said. “I know they’re trying to crack down on that, but I barely said much at all to warrant that. I should’ve known.”
Ribeiro’s issue with the officials dated to 15:06 of the first period when he was high-sticked on a faceoff by Olli Jokinen before the puck was even dropped. He looked up at linesman Greg Devorski, skated around and had blood on his face. No penalty was called.
Jokinen also appeared to high-stick Ribeiro at the 8:49 mark of the third period. Nothing was called.
Ribeiro’s unsportsmanlike conduct penalty and 10-minute misconduct came after he assisted on Troy Brouwer’s power-play goal at 18:44 of the third.
The 32-year-old center missed a month early in 2010 while with the Dallas Stars when then-New York Rangers forward Chris Higgins high-sticked him in the throat. Ribeiro needed a tracheotomy and still has a scar.
“I thought I got high-sticked close to my throat again. I turned around and [the official is] staring at me. So I’m like, ‘Are you not seeing it or you don’t wanna call it?’ And then he just didn’t answer me,” Ribeiro said. “I don’t know. You’re not allowed to talk to them.”
Coach Adam Oates said he hadn’t talked to Ribeiro about what happened.
“I saw he got high-sticked before the goal and he got high-sticked earlier in the game and I think he was just very frustrated with that and maybe the referee was a little bit quick with the whistle,” Oates said.
On the Crabb penalty, defenseman Karl Alzner said: “What Joey says was something that you hear said probably seven times a game. I was a little bit shocked by that call. I guess it’s a penalty, yeah.”