The Caps didn’t practice today, but they had to plenty to say about the officiating, both in Game 3 and the series in general.
“I was disappointed with last night because we didn’t deserve some of those penalties and you can’t tell me they didn’t deserve more than two,” Caps general manager Geroge McPhee said. “It hasn’t been our style to whine about this, but at some point, you have to say something.”
Now, McPhee did not talk today just to rail on the officials. It is a league rule that if your team does not practice, the coach, general manager and some players must be available to the media. But McPhee did spend a lot of time talking about the officiating.
Coach Bruce Boudreau also continued his lobbying. Most of his press conference after Game 2 was talk about the officiating, and there was more this afternoon at the team hotel.
“Like I said last night, if they want to make calls like that, they certainly could have called four or five more on them,” Boudreau said.
“We talked to the supervisors last series about protecting the goalie when [Sean] Avery punched Varlamov in the face, and we talked after Game 2 about [Chris] Kunitz cross-checking [Varlamov] in the face,” he continued. “Yesterday, Malkin runs into the goalie – he just comes out of the corner and barrels right through him, and there’s no protection for the goalies. I thought that was a big point, and we need to reiterate that. The goalies need protection. When you retaliate from something like that, and it was a flick of the stick, my goodness, it wasn’t even a slash that we get called for.”
A couple of the players followed suit and said their bit about the penalties, which are 17-9 in the series. It was 7-2 last night alone.
Brian Pothier, however, didn’t toe the company line.
“If you look across the league, every goalie in every series is taking a little more abuse, if you want to call it that, because there’s more traffic,” Pothier said. “That’s how you score in the playoffs and Pittsburgh understands that and they’re doing a good job of trying to get people in front of them because they know if he can see the puck, he’s probably going to save it.”