Skip to content

Oates on Washington’s penalty problems: ‘Can’t blame the refs’

Feb 22, 2013, 9:40 PM EDT

Oates Capitals

The Washington Capitals have a problem with penalties.

They’ve taken 76 minors this season and boast the league’s seventh-worst penalty kill, at 76.1 percent.

While those two figures don’t fully explain Washington’s woeful record — 5-10-1, dead last in the NHL — they do explain a good part of it.

Just ask head coach Adam Oates.

“How many times are we going to have this conversation? It’s on us,” Oates told the Washington Post after Thursday’s 3-2 loss to New Jersey, in which the Caps were whistled for six minors in the third period.

“We talked about it at the end of the second period. They were yelling at the end of one of the calls we got in the second period. We talked about being disciplined and playing, watching our sticks.

“One of them or two you might question, but we still had too many penalties.”

For a detailed breakdown on what’s exactly ailing the Caps — penalty-wise — here’s CSN Washington’s Chuck Gormley:

Of the 76 minor penalties the Caps have taken this season, 12 have been for interference; 12 for tripping; 11 for holding; eight for shooting the puck over the glass; seven for hooking; six for roughing; five for high sticking; five for boarding; three for unsportsmanlike conduct; two for crosschecking; two for slashing; one for embellishment and one for concealing the puck.

“It could be [fatigue] at the end of a shift, it could be lost focus; it could be any number of things,” Oates said. “It could be a temper, it could be [bad] habits. …You’re not going to win giving the other team more power plays every night. You’re not.”

What’s odd is that, historically speaking, Washington hasn’t really ever had major issues with penalties. The Caps had the 10th-fewest minors called against them last year and the sixth-fewest total penalty minutes.

Oates said it’s a disturbing trend, but that the Caps have nobody to blame but themselves — especially not in last night’s third period.

“You can’t blame the refs for six [penalties],” he said. “You can’t. That’s on us.”

Latest Posts
  1. Capuano continues auditions for Tavares line

    Sep 29, 2014, 11:18 PM EDT

    Cory Conacher Getty Images

    Cory Conacher is probably up next.

  2. Giroux (lower body) a ‘possibility’ Tuesday

    Sep 29, 2014, 10:44 PM EDT

    New York Rangers v Philadelphia Flyers - Game Four Getty Images

    He’s running out of opportunities to get into an exhibition contest.

  3. Hello Johansen? Boone Jenner out with broken hand

    Sep 29, 2014, 7:54 PM EDT

    Boone Jenner #38 of the Columbus Blue Jackets skates against the New York Islanders at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on October 5, 2013 in Uniondale, New York. The Blue Jackets defeated the Islanders 3-2 in the shootout.
(October 4, 2013 - Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America) Getty Images

    This has been a rough preseason for Columbus.

  4. Hodgson feels ‘really comfortable’ at left wing

    Sep 29, 2014, 7:00 PM EDT

    Cody Hodgson Getty Images

    Will he be able to build off of his 2013-14 campaign though?

  5. Mason adjusting to new Wells Fargo lights

    Sep 29, 2014, 5:51 PM EDT

    Steve Mason, Mike Cammalleri AP

    This is certainly the time to do that.

  6. Heatley out a week with groin injury

    Sep 29, 2014, 4:53 PM EDT

    Anaheim Ducks v Los Angeles Kings Getty Images

    Has two goals in the preseason.

  7. Gettin’ the band back together: Blues hire Gainey as Hitch’s consultant

    Sep 29, 2014, 4:14 PM EDT

    bob gainey

    If you were a member of the Dallas Stars at the turn of the century, you could get a job next!

  8. Ducks send ’14 1st-rounder Ritchie back to junior, release Yip from PTO

    Sep 29, 2014, 3:02 PM EDT

    Arizona Coyotes v Anaheim Ducks Getty Images

    Prospects Nic Kerdiles and Stefan Noesen headed to AHL Norfolk.

  9. All three Canuck kids skating together tonight

    Sep 29, 2014, 2:37 PM EDT

    Bo Horvat AP

    Bo Horvat may have the inside track over Hunter Shinkaruk and Nicklas Jensen to make Vancouver’s opening-day roster.

  10. Leafs release Tallinder from PTO

    Sep 29, 2014, 1:52 PM EDT

    Tallinder_Henrik

    Veteran blueliner suffered a separated shoulder during the preseason.

  11. Bruins release Leino; Boychuk staying put?

    Sep 29, 2014, 12:40 PM EDT

    Ville Leino AP

    Peter Chiarelli addressed the media today in Boston.

  12. Wild put d-men Falk, Blum on waivers

    Sep 29, 2014, 11:52 AM EDT

    Minnesota Wild v Anaheim Ducks Getty Images

    Both have over 100 games of NHL experience.

Sign up for Fantasy hockey

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. S. Crosby (2439)
  2. R. Johansen (2137)
  3. P. Datsyuk (1972)
  4. D. Stepan (1896)
  5. E. Malkin (1893)
  1. J. Drouin (1812)
  2. F. Forsberg (1751)
  3. J. Staal (1694)
  4. T. Krug (1649)
  5. C. Giroux (1609)