In game six on Sunday night, the Capitals did not receive a single power play despite a few egregious fouls by the New York Rangers. One of the worst missed calls came in the first period, when Mathieu Perreault was decked into the boards by Michael Del Zotto.

But there was also the time Rangers forward Ryan Callahan elbowed Jack Hillen, and then Hillen got whistled off for roughing.

Then, when Rangers forward Derek Dorsett might’ve slew-footed Mike Green. Green got a call for cross-checking.

The Caps got nicked for ticky-tac plays all night, including a cross-checking minor to Joel Ward late in the third period after he crashed the net. The Capitals been called for 31 penalties in the series; the Rangers have been sent to the box just 19 times. The penalty parade is more lopsided at Madison Square Garden, with the Capitals penalized 17 times. The Rangers have just 7.

After the game, Alan May shared his displeasure.

Then May took the officiating to task on CSN’s Caps Postgame Central.

We’ve seen this three times at Madison Square Garden in the last week. The same referee Marc Joannette on Wednesday night — the same guy — today turned his back and looked away when Mathieu Perreault was hit five seconds after a puck, rammed from behind headfirst into the glass, not a call! The Capitals couldn’t get a call all game long, they set them back. They were very tired at the end of the first period, they had to kill of the 5-on-3 again. The only one that’s a clear cut penalty is the puck over the glass. But the Joel Ward penalty in the third period was absolutely disgusting and embarrassing that it was called. And I really can’t believe that guy was assigned this game again!

While the Capitals were apparently frustrated by the calls, they tried to downplay it in postgame interviews.

“Tonight shouldn’t have been so lopsided,” Braden Holtby said, according to Steve Whyno. “It shouldn’t have. We all know that. … We won’t use it as an excuse.”

Alex Ovechkin also expressed his displeasure, saying “it’s nothing we can control.”

The Capitals have a discipline problem, sure, but the officiating needs to improve or else game seven will be a total mess. Let the officials know what’s up on Monday.

Additional reporting by Chris Gordon.

  • RockTheRefs

    #rocktherefs on Monday night. Win or lose, bottle them off the ice. Please. I’d do it myself but I’m a thousand miles away.

  • If the refs had been officiating the game properly retaliation hits would not have occurred (Green and Hillen). But when players feel unprotected by the officials they feel the need to protect themselves. Would a more disciplined team not take those retalitory pentalties, of course. But as a player I understand the frustration of not feeling like the refs are doing enough to protect me and wanting to make sure I am not gonna get pushed around or injured by a cheap shot.

  • Great work

  • I agree completely, but it doesn’t matter. The refs don’t care, the NHL isn’t going to change anything. The Caps have to win the game, even if they have to beat the refs in addition to the Rangers. It’s unfortunate, but that’s the way it is. If the Caps lose tomorrow we can complain about the calls all we want (and I probably will) but the Caps will have lost the series. Sometimes the team has to win an uphill battle. Ovie is right, they can’t control the bad calls and bad non-calls. What they can control to the extent they can control anything is the puck, pressuring Lundqvist, and putting the puck on net as much as possible. If they do that they’ll take the game out of the refs’ hands. If they don’t then we’ll all be back here tomorrow complaining about bad calls because that’s all we’ll have.

  • Real talk: the stars of the game should be Ovechkin and Lundqvist, not Watson and Joannette.

  • Dorsett lowers his leg, bracing for the slewfoot then drives through. It is beyond me how some people do not see this as an attempted slewfoot.

  • That kind of officiating makes conspiracy theories look valid … and we know they aren’t, right?

  • What bugs me is that the Caps aren’t nearly as undisciplined as people would believe. While NYR was the least penalized team in the league this year at 9.2 PIMs/G, the Caps were only penalized at 10.8 PIMs/G, good enough for 9th in the league.

  • Whiskey

    The officiating was awful and it is truly shameful that the Caps had to play 5 on 4 hockey for a sixth of the game (and even worse at points), BUT they need to play better 5 on 5 if they want to make it past the first round, regardless of who is in the opposing net.

  • Why do you believe the Del Zotto hit is dirty? Please explain this to me, I’d be thrilled to hear it.

  • scott

    16-7 in favor of the rangers while at MSG, 11-14 in favor of the caps at Verizon. The calling is so lopsided it’s not even funny. I wouldn’t blame any of the caps if the end up losing the series going on a rant about how horrible the reffing is.

  • scott

    really hope thats sarcasm cause theres not even a puck in the picture frame.

  • Compared to the penalties they called against us, it looks like matt cooke…

  • Joben

    He hit him well after Perrault had lost possession

  • 56.2 Minor Penalty (Interference) – A minor penalty shall be imposed on a player who interferes with or impedes the progress of an opponent who is not in possession of the puck.

    A minor penalty shall be imposed on a player or goalkeeper who restrains an opponent who is attempting to “fore-check.”

    A minor penalty shall be imposed on an attacking player who deliberately checks a defensive player, including the goalkeeper, who is not in possession of the puck.

  • Hockeynightincanada

    I can’t take Alan May seriously. This is the so called “enforcer” who would turtle when the going got tough for this team. Never fought the tough guys or even the mediocre fighters. Anyone remember when Philly once was taking runs at us and May tried to run away from Terry Carkner?

    Aside from that, I like the work RMNB.

  • He called it a boarding call, saying Perreault was defenseless against the boards.

  • Hockeynightincanada

    Should’ve been two penalties. Both Dorsett and Green. I had 5 for the slewfoot, and 4 for the cross-check

  • It could have been either interference or boarding.

  • yv

    For referees human anatomy suddenly changing in MSG. They finding Rangers heads all over the body ( on chest for Ovi or on shoulder for Fehr, etc). And I couldn’t wait when slight tap of Calahan’ @$$ by Hendy would be penalized for unsportsmanlike behavior.
    Referees might need LASIK. They have great opportunity tomorrow to get big discount for it, if Caps will score goal in the last 2 minutes of second period?!
    But regardless of this, Caps should be better in offense in VC tomorrow and better score more than 1 goal in regulation to assure season continuation without OT.

  • May turtles? I’d love for you to say that to his face. Haha.

  • How is that in anyway boarding. At all. The hit was shoulder to shoulder.

  • Hockeynightincanada

    I remember when Troy Mallette once called him out in the NY press during one Caps Rangers series and May had plenty of opportunities to fight Mallette, who was very mediocre, and he still wouldn’t do it. Finally Kypreous was so embarrassed that he challenged Mallette himself. Never said May didn’t fight, he fought a lot, but to me, in comparison to other guys on the team, he was rarely ever there when the team needed an enforcer to step up.

  • i was very angry after the game…i mean the caps could have knocked the rangers out had it not been for the stupid ref’s

  • And here I already had this queued up…

  • Okay. You don’t want to call it boarding? Call it what it is then… INTERFERENCE.

  • Amazing.

  • I mean, are we really calling out a guy’s toughness who got in a fight in an ALUMNI GAME? And does that take away at all anything from how smart his analysis is? I mean, I’m generally hard on opiners — like never ask my thoughts on Mike Wise — but I really think May does a great job at informing.

  • They’re not. But officiating this bad demands an explanation. SOMEthing was going on out there. This is not normal.

  • Not sure what Ovi did to warrant that but it’s a joke that Holtby wasn’t even the third star.

  • I’d definitely have called it interference. I think the hit was clean except for the timing.

  • Common misconception: boarding DOES NOT have to be from behind. It just usually is because of the excessive force/defenseless factor.

  • Yup, totally agree, Christophe.

  • Dangerous as it may have been, that slewfoot is a 2 minute job at best. They’re never gonna call a major on that unless Green needs help to get off the ice.

  • Green’s slew footed leg went awkwardly into the boards. He’s lucky he didn’t blow out a knee. Run the simulation again… 9 out of 10 times he’s out for the season.

  • Here’s a photo of it from @BeltwaySport

  • errantelf

    Do you have video of Fehr’s phantom elbow? When I rewound that live it was clear that that was a clean shoulder to shoulder countercheck.

  • The hit on Perrault definitely should have been a penalty for Interference. Though if Del Zotto was wearing a Caps jersey he probably would have gotten a five minute major.

    Callahan should have been called for the elbow…but he knew what he was doing. He did it just to get a response out of Hillen, which is what happened. They always catch the retaliation.

    Same thing with Mike Green. There should have been a penalty on Dorsett, definitely. But Green also certainly deserved a penalty for his retaliation.

    I don’t know what the hell was up with Ward’s penalty. That was the biggest dive I have ever seen in hockey.

    I wasn’t so angry about Washington taking penaltiees, they deserved a couple. I’m angry it hasn’t been anywhere near consistent. You are going to give one team penalties for Roughing and Boarding, you need to call it the same the other way. They are not. Not even close.

  • Hockeynightincanada

    Ha! I’ll give you that. Wise is a joke for sure. Unfortunately I don’t live in the area anymore so I don’t get the CSN feed nor get to see a lot of what May or anyone in the CSN studio says. Was just never a fan of May as a player and felt there were tougher guys on the team who went out and stood up for players like Kyprios or Stevens when they needed someone. Forgive me, I sometimes forget to tell myself that being a player is different from being a coach, analyst, or whatever they may do. Rant complete 🙂

    Hoping for a win tomorrow. Keep up the good work. I enjoy reading this blog.

  • Refs have been absolutely horrible at MSG in this series! Firstly, how do you miss 9 guys in blue on the ice at one time while calling too many men on our 6 when Mojo is clearly headed straight to the bench?? Then how can you call a crosschecking penalty on Joel Ward when he’s just battling for position with that bitch Boyle and completely ignore Perrault getting boarded in the head 5 seconds after he passed the puck? That ref is a Rags fan and/or a terrible official. I can’t believe he would be asked to ref another game.

  • Guest

    Totally calling conspiracy on this one…how many bjs is Torts giving him???

  • Agree with your agreement. It’s too bad that they take away our most lethal weapon when they do it though. Everyone knew the difference in this series was going to be special teams. It’s been the difference in every single game, including this one. But this is such a weenie way for it to be the difference! Blatant non-calls?

  • johnnymorte

    This playoffs the game is more manipulated than ever. The agenda today, get this series to 7 games. I don’t buy it. This is egregious. Guys play their heart out and fans deserve a chance to see their team win.

  • Thanks 😀

  • I understand, but the unfortunate reality is that the refs will tend to make the minor/major decision based on whether the player was injured. The only exception would be if the refs determined that it was a slewfoot and that it constituted intent to injure.

    Ian, I actually think the side angle is most telling because, as I wrote above, you can see Dorsett lower his knee/leg and drive into Green from behind.

  • Tommy

    I still can’t believe they called Hillen for roughing. That right there proves the conspiracy. Missed the elbow, missed Callahan with the crosscheck to the face, which looks a lot like Green’s hit on Dorsucks, and called Hillen for a face wash/smush. WTF Ever.

  • Jeremiah

    he means that people pay to see the players not the refs. the fact people know the refs names is not a good sign for the game they are refing. just a guess . i wish oate’s would point out more instances in order to protect his players

  • Jeremiah

    who cares how tough he was or is his analasys is generally fair and correct. by you logic we should have m. tinordi and the caps enforcer who knocked out mario. toughness doesn’t equal amazing analsys

  • hopeless

    Halfway into reading the post I had to scroll back up cause I knew it wasn’t you that wrote it 🙂 Shoulda known to start I guess

  • While publicly calling out officials always gets an immediate, and probably excessive, fine (as well as bulletin board material for the other team) I hope someone within the Caps organization speaks up about the disgusting inconsistency of officiating during this series. This hasn’t been a case of maybe one tough call a game and I do agree the Caps do have to overcome the refs, ultimately, but this is difficult for any fan, casual or hardcore, to believe any team facing elimination comes away with zero penalties committed after 60 minutes. (Yeah yeah they received some meaningless PIMs after the game) Not to mention the massive discrepancy in PPs at MSG. Caps fans usually have that chip on their shoulder about Bettman this, league wants the big markets going deep, etc etc.. but those thoughts are justifiably reinforced when this happens.

    If there is a silver lining, my wife who is a casual hockey fan at best continues to optimistically say that despite all of the opportunities the Rags are getting, we’ve been in position to tie or win every single game. That’s some character maturation if I’ve ever seen it. So much so, that if the Caps overcome the Refs, I mean Rangers, I like their odds against any remaining team in the East.

    As to actually commenting on the gameplay, I really wish some of the cute plays that are trying to be made would be cut down. I love Ribz and he was money on that OTGWG, but throughout the games I’m seeing him with space to shoot (especially during the late junctures of the game) and he attempts a flashy pass instead. It’s so difficult because he was brought over to do just that… create and facilitate, but there has been little to no success in flash this series. Seemingly, the more pucks thrown at Hank, the deeper he plays opening room for roofers. Simplicity is what seems to be stressed in every post-game interview and honestly, Hank has let in some soft goals when guys like Chimmer were just throwing pucks at the net.

    Hoping Green is alright as well. Seeing him come out of the scrum bent over, appearing to be woozy, and touching his head made me think the worst. Lastly, I think the legs are there for the Caps and they’ll come out with high, hopefully contained, emotion. They’ve taken everything the Rangers and refs have thrown their way, and this series probably should have been over.. but such is hockey. I’ll say 2-1 Caps, in expected cardiac fashion with Fehr collecting that GWG. Go Caps!

  • jeremiah

    why don’t some of them rant about it now, some of thme surely can afford it

  • HarmCity

    I think HNIC is just pointing out that he didn’t like May as a player. That’s all. Nothing to do with commentary 🙂

  • HarmCity

    He’s mad as hell and he’s not gonna take it anymore

  • Yup, exactly. Thanks, Jeremiah!

  • serpent

    Probably because the refs would retaliate with even more phantom calls against us.

  • Official Marc Joannette has a history with Jason Chimera.

  • SO_CAL_Brat

    Absolutely on point Peter! I agree 100%.

  • SO_CAL_Brat

    Ian – As if it was possible for me to love RMNB anymore than I already do! Thank you sir for throwing Mike Wise out there. He is an elitist. I don’t understand how he has managed to gain any street cred. His opinions aren’t educated, they are ludicrous.

    As far as Alan May goes I can’t completely put into words how vindicated I felt during that segment. Finally someone with enough b@lls to call the officiating out. Alan May got a standing ‘O’ from me last night. The Caps will have to win in spite of the pathetic NHL Officiating.

    Can the NHL suspend or fine officials for terrible officiating like the MLB does?

  • Here’s the really disgusting thing: The elbow Callahan delivered to Hillen, though no penalty was called, is an act the league could’ve reviewed and handed down some sort of discipline. This elbow, while not nearly as vicious as Matt Cooke’s elbow to Savard, is in essence the same thing and what the league claims it wants to get rid of. It was a blatant elbow TO THE HEAD. Period. It IS a suspendable act. Just because an elbow doesn’t knock a player on his belly or give him a concussion, does not mean it shouldn’t be reviewed and discipline handed down. to say otherwise it just being two-faced hypocrites…or bias towards one team/player. Even if the refs didn’t see it, there is no way Brendan Shanahan could’ve missed it…and nothing was done. Make. Me. Puke.