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Posted at 12:28 AM ET, 12/ 3/2010

Boudreau critical of officiating following loss

By Katie Carrera

I haven't been able to watch any replays of the would-be tying goal that was washed out because Alex Ovechkin was in the crease, but suffice to say that after the Capitals watched the replay immediately after the end of regulation they were left with questions as to why that goal didn't count.

With that marker erased with 7.6 seconds remaining in regulation Dallas went on to win, 2-1, to end Washington's four-game winning streak and leave the Capitals with a bad taste in their mouths.

Coach Bruce Boudreau had quite a bit to say about the officiating after the game, from the non-goal at the end of regulation to some of the minor penalties called against the Capitals in the second period. Here's some of what didn't make it in the print edition:

"It's a bad call [the non-goal]," he said. "Refs make bad calls but at that time of the game when you're down one you better be sure something is happening instead of wanting to make that call, let alone the calls in the second period. I want to know and I hope I get a call on this thing what the actual rule is for breaking a guy's stick with the slash.

"I've seen breaking the stick called, breaking the stick no call," Boudreau said. "I've heard every different excuse in the book but unless we're all on the same page as officials and coaches and management and league we're going to question it every game because every game it's different."

On to some other notes from the game before my early trip back to Washington, where the Capitals will practice tomorrow afternoon:

--The end of regulation controversy not withstanding the Capitals had several chances against Andrew Raycroft in the first period but some of their best opportunities were blocked or sailed wide of the net. Washington outshot Dallas 14-7 in the opening frame, but the Capitals had another eight chances blocked and seven more that missed. It's hard to guess how the game might have played out if one of those might have gone in.

"They were trying to pick corners," Boudreau said. "Guys that were holding their sticks too tight because they haven't scored a goal are trying to be cute and pick spots."

--With no goal against the Stars Thursday night, Ovechkin has gone nine straight contests without scoring tying the longest goal-scoring drought of his career in the 2008-09 season.

--Boudreau said he was happy with Michal Neuvirth's first start since Nov. 20 against the Flyers and that if Brandon Segal's shot from the right faceoff circle in the third hadn't been a "knuckleball" that the Capitals netminder would have stopped it. Neuvirth finished with 19 saves.

--Part of the reason it's hard to fault Neuvirth, particularly on the first goal, was the long stretch on the penalty kill for the Capitals in the second period. Dallas had 7 minutes and 17 seconds in the second stanza on the power play before Mike Ribero's goal broke the scoreless tie at 13:29 of the second period.

As those shorthanded minutes piled up it was easy to see Washington's penalty killers growing a little stiffer, a little less aggressive and it just seemed to diminish the Capitals' early momentum. And the situation was made worse by the fact that several players went several minutes on the bench during those penalties.

"It starts wearing on you physically. You're blocking shots, for the forward part you're on for no more than 20 seconds -- you try to ramp it up for those 20 seconds and do everything you can to keep the puck out of the net," Matt Hendricks said. "You give a team like that with talent like that enough opportunities and they're going to find the back of the net."

--Scott Hannan played 19:02 in his first game with the Capitals including a team-high 4:50 on the penalty kill. Although it was an interference call on Hannan the Capitals were trying to kill off when Mike Ribeiro scored to give the Stars a 1-0 lead, the newest Washington player had a solid outing. Hannan blocked four shots and was credited with three hits.

"I think he did his job," Boudreau said. "He's a good shut down, stay at home [defenseman]. You're not going to get 20 goals out of him...but he blocks shots, he does what he's supposed to. He can log a lot of minutes, he's done that in the past. I think we've got a good player."

--Lost in the hubbub at the end of the game was an instance of Ovechkin coming to the aid of his teammate at the end of the first period. Adam Burish had lined Marcus Johansson up for a hit at center ice. After the collision Ovechkin immediately skated over, started a bit of a fracas and let Burish know he didn't appreciate the hit.

By Katie Carrera  | December 3, 2010; 12:28 AM ET
Categories:  Alex Ovechkin, Bruce Boudreau, Dallas Stars, Michal Neuvirth, Scott Hannan  
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Next: Despite loss, a 'full 60 minutes' from the Caps in Dallas


Absolutely horrible call. These refs need to start being held accountable.

Tough loss, have to shake it off and come out strong versus Atlanta Saturday.

Posted by: digster1013 | December 3, 2010 2:14 AM | Report abuse

I love to hear Boudreau not being afraid to be fired up after that one. terrible calls throughout. And Ovechkin better get one soon . . . it's painful watching him press so much.

Posted by: BoulderBondra | December 3, 2010 2:52 AM | Report abuse

As if the NHL needed to express it's Pro-Crosby anti-Ovechkin bias further, on the front page of is a huge headline about Sid's natural hat-trick (props to him by the way - he's having a good year).

The video highlight of Ovie is of him wiping out on the bad ice in Dallas.

As a side note, I haven't found a single video of the disallowed goal - figures the NHL wouldn't post the highlight since the call was so blatantly wrong. If someone finds one, please post it.

Posted by: Raber | December 3, 2010 4:36 AM | Report abuse

Nevermind - found one.

Also interesting to me is how the refs didn't even put 3 seconds back on the clock. If you're going to botch the call, at least make sure the time is right.

Posted by: Raber | December 3, 2010 5:05 AM | Report abuse

Man it's hard to believe that Brian Pochmara has never officiated a playoff game. Hopefully this game will be just the resume builder this crew needs to get to the playoffs this year.

Please NHL if nothing else, keep tonights officiating crew far far far far away from the Caps. Tonights display was simply pathetic. From the missed Schultz call that immediately became a Schultz penalty all the way to crappy call on the game tying goal.

Posted by: Dirtbag359 | December 3, 2010 5:49 AM | Report abuse

It was a BS and rotten call for sure. But note that after watching the replay the first time the immediate reaction of both JoeB and Locker was interference, and only after close analysis a second time came around to the idea that it was a bad call. It was the Dallas player who wiped out Raycroft for sure, though to catch his balance Ovi's hands are on the guy's back.

I'm not saying it's fair or anything, but you can see how a ref could make the blown call. No doubt it was a bad call, but that's the way it goes.

All in all I think we played a pretty solid road game, and this steal of a point on a bad call will be a motivator.

Posted by: Justafan | December 3, 2010 6:37 AM | Report abuse

I think the story's incorrect -- the goal was not washed out because the refs ruled Ovechkin "was in the crease." It was washed out because of goalie interference -- contact that would prevent the goalie from making the play. Being in the crease on its own is not a basis for an interference call.

Posted by: Justafan | December 3, 2010 6:49 AM | Report abuse

It just doesn't seem Fehr. I mean, it's not like the officiating has Benn terrible all year (they're not messing up Daley) but it sucks when the calls don't go your way. Those refs Ott to know that they cost the Caps a point and now look like a couple of Richards. Oh well, toMorrow is another day.

Posted by: Aldred15 | December 3, 2010 7:06 AM | Report abuse


but is that a reviewable play? Because if it HAVE to review that!

I didn't get to watch the ;ast 2 periods...we had 38 SOG, and 7 PKs to their4-5 I believe...

were the refs calling it evenly? Did we deserve that many penalties? Did we deserve a few more PPs?

Glad BB seems ready to address Ovie gripping his stick to tight and forcing his shot...u can tell he is on the verge of scoring, and when he fixs those things he should be set.

Posted by: capscoach | December 3, 2010 7:19 AM | Report abuse

Absolutely horrendous officiating throughout the contest last evening. That being said, the Caps had all the opportunities they needed in the 1st period to put that game out of reach and simply did not capitalize. The refs screwed up yes, but the loss is on them for not executing when they had chances.

Posted by: PhilR | December 3, 2010 7:49 AM | Report abuse

tell em bruce!! i've said for YEARS that nhl refs need to be more consistent game to game. haven't seen it yet

Posted by: hockeypunk | December 3, 2010 8:26 AM | Report abuse

Overall, it was an intense game and the boys held their own. Dallas is tough and their goalie was on fire. Ovie is frustrated because teams seem to think that they have "solved" him. But don't you think he is about to go off on a scoring spree? Also good for him for standing up for MJ90. Yeah, the refs totally mucked it up. Alan May was in the booth with Joe B. and Locker said right off the bat that it was a bad call. Bring on the Thrashers.

Posted by: ljo211 | December 3, 2010 8:42 AM | Report abuse

another problem with the game last night is that the ice was awful. Both teams had trouble with it.

Posted by: CelticFCbhoys | December 3, 2010 8:43 AM | Report abuse

The only job worse than an NHL referee where you can be worng and still keep your job is a weather "forcaster"

I think any goal late in the period should be reviewed no matter what. So it adds more time to the game, too bad. I'd rather wait for the correct call than go through this again.

Oh well, have a good weekend everyone!!

Posted by: jwash4472 | December 3, 2010 8:45 AM | Report abuse

The Schultz non-call to boarding for pushing a guy in the front and whose back hit the boards, just weak. The interference was ticky-tac, and the immediate wipe-out, not sending it to Toronto, horrible. The Caps got ROBBED by the poor officiating. They outshot, outhit, outblocked

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS2 | December 3, 2010 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Goalie interference never goes the Caps way, remember Game 7 against the Flyers 2 years back, Go to 2:26. Then when the Canadiens ended our 14 game winning streak they went to the tape and overruled the and another call didn't go our way. kinda lame every time. Go to 7:00.

Posted by: redmatt | December 3, 2010 9:11 AM | Report abuse

By far one of the worst officatiated games I've ever seen in the NHL and that's saying a lot.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | December 3, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

As opposed to just being upset about the officiating or the call, I'm curious how it all "randomly" happened in one game, especially on a goal/non-goal against the team things were tilted against.

Tim Donaghy (NBA official) was caught fixing games with subtle calls like the 2nd period ones against the Caps. Did the officials in this game blow their cover by calling off that goal so quick at the end of the game?

What has to happen to get the NHL or a private group to investigate this official or crew?

Here's a chance for someone from the Washington Post to make a name for themselves. "Free the Goal!"

Posted by: rhollebon | December 3, 2010 9:43 AM | Report abuse

That call is not reviewable. Why? I don't know off hand and really don't feel like searching it out, but Joe B reminded Locker immediatley. Also I was thinking the boys looked a little tired and my wife made the same comment. Of course 7 1/2 minutes of straight penalty kill doesn't help.
BTW - what are people's opinion of Alan May being in the booth with Locker and Joe B? I had mixed feelings.

Posted by: Iceman10 | December 3, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

I thought the Caps had two solid back to back games on the road. The offcials reminded me of the great Kerry Frasier. Not even close. Frasier let guys play the game was even handed and knew what was happening on the ice before his eyes. One of the best refs of all time. he is one of the few refs who would not be booed with great frequency because those that knew hcokey knew how good he was at his job.

Posted by: pkme | December 3, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Mrcreary anothet great ref. brosker a great linesman

Posted by: pkme | December 3, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse

I second the above comment about reviews. Any goal that occurs within the final minute of the period should be reviewed automatically.

I'm still mad about the non-call for slashing Schultz; however, the announcers were mistaken on the "boarding" call against him. It was an interference penalty, not a boarding one. The puck had since been played around the boards when Schultz hit the player (don't remember who it was). I think that was a legit call; however, if the guy didn't slash Schultz's stick in half, it wouldn't have happened.

Give NHL coaches the ability to challenge calls like NFL. If the coach loses the challenge, give a two-minute bench minor. Allow two challenges per game or something like that.

In the end, nothing can be done about last night's game. It's a shame. But at the very minimum, NHL should review the call officially and release a statement either agreeing with or condemning the official's on-ice call. But we all know that will never happen.

Posted by: sabredc | December 3, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

You expect fair officiating? Come on. This is a league where Colin Campbell has been proven to be biased against certain players, taken action based on his son's interests and done assorted other sleazy things. Yet the NHL does nothing. It isn't a much a gutter league as the NBA. But it is getting there.

Posted by: poguesmahone | December 3, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Didn't see the play in question so I can't say it was or wasn't correct.
The only issue I have is with Boudreau stating breaking sticks are sometimes not called. They're called literally EVERY time they're seen by an official.
I find the phantom offisdes calls when the puck never crosses the blue line and was held in(usually by a defenseman) far more annoying than broken sticks not being called(extremely rare).

Posted by: BigDaddy651 | December 3, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

It was a BS call but the Caps shouldn't have been in that position anyway. The call in Game 7 against Montreal was much rose, in my opinion. You can't always come from behind and win.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | December 3, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

BTW - what are people's opinion of Alan May being in the booth with Locker and Joe B?

Tremendous - May is a smart hockey guy with a lot of insight. Laughlin is too, but even he misses stuff sometimes - it was May who immediately pointed out the refs blew it on the Carlson non-goal.

And Joe B seems like a very nice guy but he's a play-by-play guy; fine for what he is but I'd much rather hear the analysis of two guys who both actually played in the 'ligg.'

Posted by: Timbo_1 | December 3, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

But Lloyd it wasn't just that call - I've played, watched and coached a fair amount of hockey in my time [started playing at five] and reffed some as well - and that was, hands-down, one of the worst officiated games I've ever witnessed. I understand the home-ice advantage, but that was ridiculous.

And it wasn't just me - Laugher and especially May sounded in disbelief at times.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | December 3, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

bad officiating more then once in this game...not only was it a bad call there at the end of the game, the referee was emphatic it was non goal. It wasnt even close for him to be so emphatic. Their player was sliding into the goalie on his own and almost with ovie back to him. The referee was emphatically wrong..Was that not re-viewable???

Posted by: gatsu | December 3, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Terrible call. If there is a rule about being in the crease, then a bunch of goals ought to be disallowed. I think its also about contact in the crease. Funny the ref did not penalize Ovie for interference when he canceled the goal. Its not like the goal in Montreal last year where Ovie literally checked a guy 20 feet into his own goalie. The guy fell on the bad ice and took out his own goalie. Also, the non-slash call, a slash on Ovie wasn't called when the stick was knocked out of his hand. And the ice must have been horrible. Guys were falling all over the place. Glad we don't have to go back to Dallas til next year.

Posted by: genericrepub | December 3, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

With the video evidence (INSTANT replay of Ovie's non-interference), I can't believe they didn't even review it. Sure, we should have scored more but 37 shots is a pretty good effort and the refs did everything in their power to ensure a Dallas win.

Posted by: AmyS1 | December 3, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

I'm not normally one to believe in conspiracies in sports or otherwise, but this is really starting to look like one. Going back to the goalie interference call in Game 7 against Philly; and of course we all remember in Game 7 against Montreal last year, Ovi scored and it was immediately washed out because Knuble was apparently "interfering" with Halak... but when the replay was shown, it was clear that Knuble was not in the crease, and therefore it should not have been ruled interference. But of course, the referees neglected to review that call, as well. Honestly, what bugs me the most is the NHL's obvious bias - Crosby over Ovechkin, no matter what. I was looking on after the game last night, and not only was there no highlight posted of the no-goal... but they have a huge front page header talking about what a saint Crosby is, and then they have a video of Ovechkin missing his one-timer and wiping out. Really guys, you post a video of Ovi falling? You wouldn't want to post something that makes him look good... like, say, when he came to Marcus Johansson's defense at the end of the first period? No, because the NHL always has to make Ovi look bad, while making Cindy Crosby look like God's gift to the human race. It's embarrassing. At least post the highlight of the no-goal call. Then again, I guess in the eyes of Gary Bettman and the NHL... the Caps lost, and that's all the world needs to know! NO DETAILS!

It's becoming sickening.

Posted by: JB-RockTheRed | December 4, 2010 1:51 AM | Report abuse

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