George McPhee criticized the officiating in the Washington Capitals’ series against the New York Rangers on Wednesday, two days after his team was eliminated from the playoffs.
“We didn’t get many power plays in the series. I don’t know why. We had to kill too many penalties. I don’t know why,” the general manager said. “I didn’t think that part of the game, from the league’s standpoint, was all that good. I didn’t like the refereeing, but if you complain about it during the series, then you’re accused of trying to gain an edge. And if you complain about it after a series is over, then you’re whining and it’s sour grapes. So I’m not going to do that. But that is my analysis, right off the bat.”
Captain Alex Ovechkin implied to Russian media after the Caps’ 5-0 Game 7 loss that the 5-0 power-play discrepancy in Game 6 was not on the up and up.
“Not saying there was a phone call, but they wanted Game 7,” Ovechkin said, as quoted by Sport-Express. “For ratings. You know, lockout, escrow, league must make profit.”
Asked about Ovechkin’s comments, McPhee said: “I don’t think there’s a league conspiracy, but it sure didn’t feel right. Alex wasn’t wrong.”
McPhee said he brought up his grievance to the NHL.
“I talked to them during the series,” McPhee said. “But at some point, you stop and they’ll referee the way they want to referee.”
The Caps had 16 power plays to the Rangers’ 28. Washington took 33 minor penalties to New York’s 21.
The Rangers were the most disciplined team in the league during the regular season and then again in this series. But McPhee brought up situations that he did not agree with.
“I loved the way we started in Game 3, we were up 1-0. And then things changed. I don’t know why there were six penalties in the first 30 minutes of that game. I don’t know why. What did we do to deserve that?” he said.
“And then [in Game 6] it’s 5-0 in power plays. It’s probably unprecedented in a 1-0 hockey game in this league that one team gets five power plays and the other team gets nothing. I can’t explain that. I don’t know why it happened.”