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Caps, Pens and Officiating

I heard some of Bruce Boudreau's comments about the officiating from last night re-played on Pittsburgh sports-talk radio this morning. They were followed by crying baby noises.

Now, the hosts actually said they agreed with Boudreau in part, but it's hard to imagine how much angst there'd be among a certain segment of Caps fans if this situation were reversed, and the Penguins' brain trust was lashing out at the calls. The words "crying" and "whining" would no doubt be prominently featured. It would be pointed out, as Puck Daddy did this morning, that two of the seven calls were of the delay-of-game variety, kind of a different deal. And matters wouldn't be helped when the GM addressed the media, calling the situation "not right." I'm not judging this on the merits of the calls, just saying that independently of those merits, Penguins chatter on this topic wouldn't be greeted kindly.

And in fact, when Mike Green and Brian Pothier were asked about the calls today, both explicitly said they didn't want to be perceived as whining or complaining.

"I mean, it wasn't like we weren't working hard and we didn't deserve some [calls]," Green said. "But it's up to the refs. We can't complain about that and just say that's the reason why we lost. It's not."

"It's a hard decision to make in a split second," Pothier said. "Obviously the biggest one I kind of scratched my head at was Malkin sort of runs over Varly, and then Varly just gives him a love tap back and gets a penalty. I couldn't believe it. But other than that, what are you gonna do?"

A day after some back-and-forth, the Pens' Matt Cooke laughed good-naturedly when asked about Boudreau's post-game complaints.

"I said yesterday, Bruce can banter all he wants, I'm not gonna go back and forth with him," Cooke said. "Sometimes your best defense is to go on the offense. You know, Bruce is a smart man."

Boudreau again discussed the calls today, when prompted, though in slightly less evocative language. The Varlamov call, for him too, was the irritant.

"There's no protection for the goalies and I thought that was a big point, and we have to reiterate that: the goalies need protection," he said. "It was a flick of the stick, goodness; it wasn't even a slash, and we get called for it. I'm hoping the 17-9 [disparity in calls] could very well, or should be, at least equal at this stage."

Boudreau got off some other swell lines today, while meeting with the media in the "Jimmy Stewart Room" of the team hotel.

Like, he was asked how close the Caps were to taking a 3-0 series lead. "One goal," he said, accurately.

He was asked about the state of his team. "We're up 2-1," he said. "We can play better, they outplayed us yesterday, but I'd much rather be where I am right now than where they are."

He was asked about the impression some Pens gave that they had outplayed the Caps thus far. "They can think what they want to think, they're still down 2 to 1," he said.

And he was asked, by CSN's Lisa Hillary, about whether hate builds up in these seven-gamers. She then corrected herself, saying maybe hate wasn't the right word. Boudreau laughingly insisted that it was.

"You want that word, because sometimes anger really is a great motivator," he said. "And I think it's two organizaitons that don't like each other very well, and it makes for great sport."

By Dan Steinberg  |  May 7, 2009; 5:29 PM ET
Categories:  Caps  
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Next: Two Games, Two Nights,


puck fittsburg!

Posted by: jonthefisherman | May 7, 2009 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Let's Go Pens!!!

The Caps so in trouble.

Posted by: bpyren | May 7, 2009 8:51 PM | Report abuse

waaaaaaaaah officiating waaaaaaah

Posted by: daved992 | May 7, 2009 9:04 PM | Report abuse

guys i dont want anyone to think i'm whining, but waaaaaaaaaah

each team should always get the same number of powerplays each game waaaaaaah

Posted by: daved992 | May 7, 2009 9:05 PM | Report abuse

its not fair, how come they get crosby and malkin and we only get ovechkin waaaaaaaah
draft is broken league is fixed everyone hates the caps waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah

Posted by: daved992 | May 7, 2009 9:06 PM | Report abuse

good thing the pens never whine about calls..right daved? i didnt hear byslma complaining after game two did i? or cooke? no never, not the pens...

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | May 7, 2009 9:33 PM | Report abuse

Puck fittsburg and puck daved992 and cindy crysby too b1tches

Posted by: jonthefisherman | May 7, 2009 10:22 PM | Report abuse

anyone going to Game 5 on Saturday. Bring a hat, a red hat, a caps hat, any hat! My friend and I will be handing out stickers to put on your hat "Crosby Says: Don't Throw Me!"

tell everyone you know going to the game to bring a hat!


Posted by: capsfan387 | May 7, 2009 11:07 PM | Report abuse

Did I just read a Penguin fan complaining about a complaint that was never made here?

Posted by: sitruc | May 7, 2009 11:25 PM | Report abuse

look, you yinzers. you're talking about the tooliest mctoolstein of them all being on your team - sidney crosby.

who on earth makes a whiny announcement telling fans to stop throwing hats??????? he seriously did that! your savior did that! what a tool!

you have the ultimate crybaby on your team - just accept it. and leave us good washingtonians alone!

Posted by: CF11555 | May 8, 2009 12:39 AM | Report abuse

The disparity in penalties was a direct result of the Caps only showing up to play for (maybe) 10 minutes of the entire game.


How many times has Crosby whined this series...well...I guess we can count the hat thing...1 time. How many times has Boudreau?

How many times has Crosby taken a dive this series? How many times has Ovechkin?

Game 3 is over. The Caps got outplayed. I'm sure they will play much better in Game 4, and the penalties will be even. It's time to quit the public jockeying for calls. It's as embarassing as Uncle Ted spending half of his days trying to think of new, clever ways to keep Pens fans from his building.

Posted by: KellyBuchbergersHelmet | May 8, 2009 6:29 AM | Report abuse

Pens fan here. Not sure why the Caps are worried about the Pens going on a PP, have you seen it?

Posted by: chrisss | May 8, 2009 7:50 AM | Report abuse

Gosh Dave, I guess as a "bandwagon" reporter, you're not required to be too comprehensive in your coverage. I believe it was Pittsburgh that originally "whined" about calls (and unfortunately, the NHL made that tactic credible by their response on ice). I don't blame the Caps management for using the same tactic.

Posted by: Blueline | May 8, 2009 8:06 AM | Report abuse

Sorry to anyone named Dave...I meant to say "Dan".

Posted by: Blueline | May 8, 2009 8:10 AM | Report abuse

Am I the only one who sees Pittsburgh Sports fans (and teams) as the Eddie Haskel's of sports? Why is it, in Penguin-ville, the Caps are yet to win a game? When the Penguins lost the first two games it was because of bad breaks and poor officiating. When they win the third game (based on inequitable officiating and lucky breaks; hello, that's called "the breaks of the game" for both officiating and breaks even out in a 7 game series), the Penguins just won because they are better than the Caps.

Sadly, Penguin fans aren't the only Pittsburgh sports fans that act like this. The Steelers seem to get all the breaks too and their fans still whine -- I think the Seahawks are still cheesed off about a phantom touchdown and missed pass interference in the end-zone. The "immaculate reception?" Any Ravens or Browns fans here care to chime in on Steeler fans? What about the mighty Pitt Panthers, popular choice to win the National Championship? Apparently, Villanova stole the regional finals from them. The Pirates are the poster-children for why a salary cap is needed in MLB. In other words, if it weren't for money, the Pirates would be winning championships. Right. In the eyes of Pirate fan, this logic holds, the Pirates drafting and player development system is among the best in baseball; they just can't afford to keep their own players because someone else steals them. Right. How many times has this happened?

Any Flyer, Eagle, Brown, or Raven fan care to chime in on this?

Posted by: Matt23185 | May 8, 2009 9:20 AM | Report abuse


You just summed up every fanbase in the country, in every sport. Every fanbase whines and makes up excuses. All the Flyers, Eagles, Browns, or Ravens fans that chime in have fanbases that behave the exact same way. That's the way it is.

Posted by: KellyBuchbergersHelmet | May 8, 2009 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Why do Pens fans come to these boards? If I wanted to get their opinion, I would go to a Pens website.

Posted by: ejohnsto | May 8, 2009 9:37 AM | Report abuse

The Jurcina delay of game penalty was caused by a missed interference/cross-check by Kunitz.

That said I'd rather have the Jurcina penalty than the goal that would have happened if he hadn't gotten called on it, and I can understand the refs calling it the way they did, it was hard to see that sneaky rat shoving Juice.

The main penalties they're up in arms over are the slashes on Green and Varlamov. Any other game Green wouldn't have been called for that tap and there were worse "slashes" by both teams that weren't called. If Brodeur was in the net and he'd just gotten tackled, he wouldn't have been called for tapping Malkin in the leg. There was another goalie that punched our guy and didn't get called for it during the play at one point. It was a bad bad bad call.

Posted by: remain | May 8, 2009 9:38 AM | Report abuse

I'm not one to complain about officiating. I don't care if it is my beer league team or the Caps. I don't blame losses on referees. Except in very rare circumstances players determine the outcome of a game not referees. You can quote me on that. :)

Having said all that what is going on with Varlamov is just plain wrong and should not be happening at a professional level. A cross-check to the neck that wasn't called, and being bowled over and then getting called for a penalty on a love tap "isn't right" as McPhee said.

Posted by: BetterOffWithFedorov | May 8, 2009 9:41 AM | Report abuse

"Pens fan here. Not sure why the Caps are worried about the Pens going on a PP, have you seen it?"

Posted by: chrisss

LOL :) Good one chrisss. A little levity at this point is a good thing IMHO. Thanks for the laugh and good luck.

Posted by: BetterOffWithFedorov | May 8, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

I'm not one to complain about officiating. I don't care if it is my beer league team or the Caps. I don't blame losses on referees. Except in very rare circumstances players determine the outcome of a game not referees. You can quote me on that. :)

Posted by: BetterOffWithFedorov | May 8, 2009 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Go ask Detroit about referees determining the outcome of a game....

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 8, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

My only issue from wednesday was that when the pens players started crashing the net, almost without fail a player would come flying in and "fall" right on Varly. Like, every time and I don't think it was called once.

I remember one instance where there was a scrum and Malkin literally came flying from out of the shot into it and falls right on Varly. It was pretty amazing.

My thing on the calls wasn't so much like we got a bunch of undeserved calls, it was that they *didn't* get a lot of deserved calls, there was no consistency in what was being called and what wasn't.

Posted by: VTDuffman | May 8, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

My sense of all this is that calls have been missed on both teams, but because the Penguins have generally carried the play 5-on-5, the Capitals have taken more penalties. How many times do you see a sustained cycle/possession in the offensive zone or an odd-man rush end in a penalty on the defense?

@chriss: True. I wonder if a team is allowed to decline to take the power play???

Posted by: gpclay | May 8, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

West Ham United(H) VS Liverpool

Willhill 6.00 3.40 1.50
6.00 4.00 1.53

In those recent matches, Liverpool were playing pretty well, for they need to get 1st position in the league. What's more, with Gerrard's recovery, Liverpool can get 3 points in this matches without much effort.

West Ham need to save their 7th position, but they scored only one goal in the recent matches verses those four top teams.

For more, please visit:

Posted by: nowgoal | May 8, 2009 10:11 PM | Report abuse

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