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Caps accuse Ott of ‘breaking the code’

Mar 18, 2013, 10:44 AM EDT


The Washington Capitals say Steve Ott crossed the line during Sunday’s 5-3 win over the Sabres.

Ott, one of the NHL’s premier agitators, asked Washington rookie Steve Oleksy to fight with 7:12 left in the game and the Caps up by one — to which Olesky obliged.

Just one problem: Ott didn’t.

Instead, the Sabres forward kept his gloves on and ate a couple of Oleksy jabs, earning his team a power play in the process (Oleksy was given a roughing minor.)

Washington proceeded to kill the PP but were none too pleased following the game.

Here’s more, from CSN Washington’s Chuck Gormley:

“It ticks you off,” said Caps forward Joey Crabb. “All of us feel the same way. The more you play against him the more you realize he’s going to pull those kinds of things.”

Asked if it is an unwritten rule that a player doers not skate away from another player after saying “Let’s go,” Crabb said, “One hundred percent.

“It happens all the time with him. Not with most players. There are a few players in the league that do that and he’s one of them.”

The Caps say Ott took advantage of common fighting knowledge — guys don’t waste any time throwing the first punch, because even the slightest hesitation can be costly.

As such, it’s easy to goad opponents into taking those sorts of penalties.

“It’s a tough spot when you’re tangled up so tight and somebody asks you to go,” Oleksy said. “If he does drop his gloves and he comes through with one, at this level the guys are too strong and throw too hard. It only takes one.”

Caps head coach Adam Oates agreed.

“We told Stevie that’s part of [Ott’s] M.O. We warned him, but it’s so hard when someone confronts you. Part of being a fighter is you gotta be ready.”

  1. danaking - Mar 18, 2013 at 10:49 AM

    Tis should be an easy fix for the refs and linesmen to get together on: Olesky gets two for roughing, and Ott gets two for instigating. Someone of the four officials must have seen it.

    This could be another argument for a coach’s challenge.

    • valoisjoeybfeld69 - Mar 18, 2013 at 12:16 PM

      Two for instigating what? Refs can make up rules as the see fit. The rule book dictates how referees call penalties. The instigator rule can only be applied when a fight breaks out.

      • hockeywithdrawal - Mar 18, 2013 at 12:25 PM

        A fight did break out. Argument invalid. It was instigating.

      • valoisjoeybfeld69 - Mar 18, 2013 at 1:00 PM

        Who fought?

        “Instead, the Sabres forward kept his gloves on and ate a couple of Oleksy jabs, earning his team a power play in the process (Oleksy was given a roughing minor.)” roughing minor is not an altercation and Ott kept his gloves on. At least to this article, and I’m assuming Halford is not making this up.

      • sabatimus - Mar 18, 2013 at 1:10 PM

        Then give Ott 2 min for unsportsmanlike conduct. It’s not like he doesn’t have a long history of doing this kind of thing. I don’t give a crap what you call it, but give Ott 2 minutes.

      • sabatimus - Mar 18, 2013 at 1:12 PM

        And hell, Shawn Thornton picked up an unsportsmanlike for continuing to goad Matt Hendricks well after Hendricks kept saying no, so the refs have shown they are willing to hand out this penalty on an interpretive basis.

      • greenmtnboy31 - Mar 18, 2013 at 10:40 PM

        I can tell you as a referee myself, unsportsmanlike conduct casts a wide net and catches a lot of garbage like this odd er, Ott behavior.

    • valoisjoeybfeld69 - Mar 18, 2013 at 12:17 PM

      Two for instigating what? Refs can make up rules as they see fit. The rule book dictates how referees call penalties. The instigator rule can only be applied when an altercation breaks out.

      A player who is deemed to be the instigator of an altercation shall be assessed an instigating minor penalty, a major penalty for fighting and a ten-minute misconduct

      • danaking - Mar 18, 2013 at 12:46 PM

        all right. Fine. They could give Ott 2 for sportsmanlike conduct.

      • valoisjoeybfeld69 - Mar 18, 2013 at 1:06 PM

        You mean unsportsmanlike conduct. Probably never been done, but could be used for this incident.

        Rule book:
        75.2 Minor Penalty – A minor penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct shall be assessed under this rule for the following infractions: (i) Any identifiable player who uses obscene, profane or abusive language or gestures directed at any person. (ii) Any player who is guilty of unsportsmanlike conduct including, but not limited to hair-pulling, biting, grabbing hold of a face mask, etc.

    • killerpgh - Mar 18, 2013 at 12:47 PM

      You can give him 2 for instigating, but you can give him 2 for unsportsmanlike conduct.

  2. mclovinhockey - Mar 18, 2013 at 10:55 AM

    If this is true its just another way to spit on the game we love. It’s up there with diving.

  3. jasol20 - Mar 18, 2013 at 11:00 AM

    Same thing happened in the BOS/VAN regular season rematch last year. Dale Weise offered to go with Shawn Thornton, and they were obviously setting up for it off the draw. Thornton dropped his gloves, Weise didn’t, and held up his hands at the officials looking for the penalty. They took both guys to the box because it was obvious what happened. No way the officials were going to give the Canucks a PP off that kind of tactic. That’s exactly how it should be officiated, and the Caps got the short end of this one, unfortunately.

    • elvispocomo - Mar 18, 2013 at 12:23 PM

      Incorrect. Weise was talking with McQuaid about fighting, and Thornton stepped in once the puck was dropped. He even admitted it afterwards and you can’t blame Weise for Thornton being a douche when he clearly knew Weise and McQuaid were going to go.

      • jasol20 - Mar 18, 2013 at 12:52 PM

        I agree he was challenging McQuaid. But no way did Thornton step in once the puck was dropped. He was lined up on the faceoff with Weise, it’s not like he came in out of nowhere. You’ve got me with a pretty good argument (and supporting quotes!), but on principle I prefer the way that was officiated over this mishandling in last night’s WAS/BUF game.

        On a side note…why does everyone want to take on McQuaid over Thornton. Thornton’s a great tactical fighter, but if McQuaid gets going he throws incredibly heavy punches. Just ask Raffi Torres…

      • elvispocomo - Mar 18, 2013 at 2:05 PM

        I can agree about giving them both something probably being the right call, unless it’s obvious one guy is just jumping the other.

        I just don’t agree that they both got it because it was a tactic of Weise, when it was clearly a tactic of Thornton who lied after the game when he said he wasn’t sure who Weise was talking to. Thornton later admitted (after Marchand let it slip) he knew Weise was talking to McQuaid about fighting.

        And by step in, I mean he didn’t play as if it was a normal faceoff but instead turned to Weise and dropped his gloves even though he knew McQuaid was the one to be fighting.

      • greenmtnboy31 - Mar 18, 2013 at 10:45 PM

        I agree Thornton is a douche.

    • elvispocomo - Mar 18, 2013 at 12:30 PM

      If you still don’t believe me, here’s Marchand himself admitting it (Thornton admitted it later as well):

      Bruins forward Brad Marchand, making his regular appearance on WEEI with Mut and Merloni, revealed Wednesday that Bruins forward Shawn Thornton knew that Vancouver forward Dale Weise was not trying to fight him in the first period of Saturday’s game.

      Weise extended a challenge and appeared ready to drop his gloves prior to a face-off in the opening period, but when Thornton dropped his gloves at 14:58 of the period, Weise, who had fourth Nathan Horton earlier in the period, kept them on. Though at first glance it appeared Weise was using a cheap tactic to sucker Thornton into a penalty, Marchand said Wednesday that the challenge was indeed being extended to Adam McQuaid, and that Thornton jumped in to “surprise” Weise.

      “I’m going to clear it up for everyone who’s listening,” Marchand said. “It was actually a really sneaky play by Thorty. Weise was trying to fight McQuaid, who was standing behind Thornton on the point. McQuaid was going to fight him. So, Weise was yelling and saying, ‘Yeah, let’s go, let’s go.’

      And as to Thornton saying he’d fought 3 times in one period before, he was lying there too:

      Some will say that Weise still chickened out from fighting Thornton, but it’s important to note that Weise did fight earlier in the first, and it’s rare for a player to drop the gloves twice in the same period because it takes so much out of you the first time. For example, despite Thornton’s claim during the ambush of Tony Gallagher on Sticks and Stones that he’d fought three times in a period before, he’s actually never dropped the gloves even twice in a period during a regular-season NHL game. As he would say, “There goes that argument.”

      (He did do so once in a preseason game, in 1999, when he was trying to make the NHL. But since that was, you know, 13 years ago, I think we can safely say it’s a rarity.)

      Thornton knew it, too. Despite his paisley tie indicating otherwise, he’s a bright guy. He was fully aware that Weise didn’t have much left. But he challenged him anyway, and then he had the nerve to go on Boston radio and crow about it while misleading Tony Gallagher.

  4. nosefacekillah - Mar 18, 2013 at 11:04 AM

    Typical of the type of palyer Ott is. He is no different than Cooke, Lapierre, Subban or Avery. No class regardless of skill level.

    • hockeywithdrawal - Mar 18, 2013 at 12:28 PM

      You forgot Rinaldo.

      • greenmtnboy31 - Mar 18, 2013 at 10:50 PM

        and Marchand

    • hockeywithdrawal - Mar 18, 2013 at 12:29 PM

      And Thornton. And Lucic.

      • elvispocomo - Mar 18, 2013 at 12:42 PM

        And Marchand.

      • misterchainbluelightning - Mar 18, 2013 at 1:08 PM

        Why is Lucic on this list? He beat up too many of your boys or something?

      • greenmtnboy31 - Mar 18, 2013 at 10:51 PM

        Lucic beat up my boys alright, you know what I’m thaying?

      • hockeywithdrawal - Mar 19, 2013 at 8:01 AM

        to misterchainbluelightning – the original description was “No class regardless of skill level.”. That sums up Lucic perfectly.

    • elvispocomo - Mar 18, 2013 at 12:37 PM

      Again, so ironic considering the username you’ve chosen. Yet you keep doing it!

    • habsman - Mar 18, 2013 at 12:49 PM

      And Rat Face, who wouldn’t drop them vs. Subban a couple weeks ago.

      • bakedbees - Mar 18, 2013 at 7:45 PM

        Subban doesn’t drop the gloves. He drops to the ice and turtles.

      • habsman - Mar 18, 2013 at 7:56 PM

        No he doesn’t, he’ll fight if he isn’t jumped from behind (Ferrence). But nice try.

        Will Rat Face fight Subban next week, or will he turn and run like last time?

        Have you seen the three Bruin Diving and Embellishment videos? Did you enjoy them?

        How is Boychuck? Sure hope they found the “sniper in the crowd” who shot him. Pathetic, Clod must be proud. But diving is nothing new for your cowardly Bruins, is it?

      • greenmtnboy31 - Mar 18, 2013 at 10:53 PM

        I’m a Habs fan and Subban’s turtling iz embarrassingly juvenile.

    • sabatimus - Mar 18, 2013 at 1:15 PM

      The only positive thing I’ll say about Ott is that he doesn’t seem to be the “knee-seeking missile” he used to be.

  5. 19to77 - Mar 18, 2013 at 11:09 AM

    It’s Steve Ott. It’s pretty much his game to be a classless coward.

  6. ironyisadeadscene - Mar 18, 2013 at 11:10 AM

    Hendricks needs to teach Olesky how to jump an opposing player and and start throwing punches before the other guy’s gloves are off

    • habsman - Mar 18, 2013 at 12:50 PM

      Yes, so typical of the Bruins. Ferrence especially likes to attack from behind.

      Remember, never turn your back to a Bruin.

      • nhloon - Mar 18, 2013 at 2:14 PM

        Damn staright you vag. You more than likely own a Max Lapierre jersey. Whaaa!!!!!!

      • stratomaticfan - Mar 18, 2013 at 3:28 PM

        Do you ever add anything positive to a conversation, or just your Habs-blind, anti-Bruin spew? This was a discussion about Ott’s tactics, yet you turned it into your typical Bruins bashing. Not like your team is a bunch of saints. I bet you cried when you’re guy decided to cheap shot Seguin with the cross check and then got a beat down by Chara, no? In your eyes, that’s bullying, I’d bet.

  7. sjsharks66 - Mar 18, 2013 at 11:16 AM

    Not defending ott but when you watched it live it just looked like they were tangled and Ott had his back towards him. Did he yell you wanna go while facing the other way? Or did he ask on the faceoff and im dumb and missed that part while reading this? Funny to watch Ott when he is not playing your team though. Haha

  8. bgrillz - Mar 18, 2013 at 11:17 AM

    Easily the whiniest team in the NHL. Is this what you preach to your players Oates? Come on!

  9. philly4lyfe - Mar 18, 2013 at 11:23 AM

    while I don’t agree with otts tactics on this, I think at least some of the onus is on olesky here. everyone knows who steve ott is and what he’s about. and if your a rookie than you need to read up on the scouting reports. and oates even said they warned him about ott. its extremely rare to see a fight with 7 mins left of a 1 goal game becuase nobody wants to take the chance of picking up the extra 2 mins and hurt their team that late in a close game. so if ott is the one offering to fight in that situation, he probably should have seen this move coming. or he also could have declined the invitation and skated away himself.

    • travishenryskid - Mar 18, 2013 at 11:55 AM

      100% correct. That’s a veteran agitator making a rookie look silly. That’s why Ott has made a paycheck in this league for many years and Olesky hasn’t. Code? Playing to win is the only code. You better learn that rookie.

  10. travishenryskid - Mar 18, 2013 at 11:50 AM

    Less than 10 mins left with your team down by 1, he goaded a rookie into a dumb penalty. Olesky has to be smarter than that, it was 100% the wrong time to drop the gloves. Heady, veteran play by Ott, Olesky is lucky Buffalo has a miserable PP.

  11. dchambers144 - Mar 18, 2013 at 11:55 AM

    @nosefacekillah- by your name I assume you are a B’s fan. I notice you didn’t put Marchand in that group of “cheap” players. Just note that while I hate Cooke’s dirty plays; he is actually a fairly skilled player (20 goals last year) and he generally has fought when necessary; including a much bigger Shawn Thorton over the Savard hit.

    • elvispocomo - Mar 18, 2013 at 12:40 PM

      That’s at least the third time this year I’ve seen him disparage a group of players that Marchand fits right in with while being completely oblivious to his username.

    • dropthepuckeh - Mar 18, 2013 at 3:44 PM

      Because he had to fight Thornton. No his usual modus operandi dc

  12. thehighcountrybear - Mar 18, 2013 at 11:56 AM

    What a load of bull, a code among goons…? Who conjures these myths as tradition in hockey…retired wrestling promoters or hockey hucksters dressed in clown suits holding Court in coach’s corner?

    If anything betrays the contrived nature and dubious value of fighting in the NHL, the existence of a code or set of rules fits the bill!

    Coming soon to a rink near you, the Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious North American Championship Belt, followed by Midget Wrestling and Dwarf Tossing!

    What a farce…

    • gravy21 - Mar 18, 2013 at 1:06 PM

      A “myth” that is continually perpetuated by hundreds of current and former hockey enforcers.

      You go man – don’t believe the conspiracy, especially not one that comes straight from the horses’ mouth!

    • jasol20 - Mar 18, 2013 at 1:14 PM

      It’s your prerogative if you choose to miss the point of fighting in hockey entirely. But to say there is no “code”, as it’s commonly referred to, is asinine.

  13. thehighcountrybear - Mar 18, 2013 at 12:03 PM

    And today’s managers’ special at Sports Stores nation wide, handy dandy miniature wheel kits, easily attached to your hockey gloves!

    Just for you kids, these clever gadgets prevent wear and tear on those expensive hockey gloves when you drag your knuckles around the ice prepping for a career in the bigs, where men are men and the helmets empty…

  14. mp1113 - Mar 18, 2013 at 12:36 PM

    Ott also had a bad cross check against poti go uncalled and slashed johannson after the whistle that should’ve set up a 5 on 3 for the caps. Oh well. We won and that’s all that matters

  15. stevefromsacto - Mar 18, 2013 at 2:02 PM

    And that “heady veteran” Ott proceeded to slash Caps defenseman John Carlson right in front of the ref later in the same period, forcing the Sabres to play shorthanded and negating their comeback attempt

    Ott would have been right at home with the Broad Street Bullies. But his type of goonery is, fortunately, disappearing from hockey. Even Matt Cooke, who used to be just like Ott, has changed.

  16. mpops86 - Mar 18, 2013 at 2:59 PM

    Ott is scum and the Caps are right here. That said, they aren’t exactly arbiters of justice and they whine SO MUCH when it comes to fighting.

  17. capsfan19 - Mar 18, 2013 at 3:58 PM

    Wished if this trash stayed in the west ha! Always a good day to beat buffalo. Imagie. If kaleta was there too? Le trailer trash i say!

  18. matt14gg - Mar 18, 2013 at 4:30 PM

    It’s true that there is a sort of loose “code”. But the truth is you can’t really get anyone in the NHL to agree on exactly what “the code” is. In Ott’s case he’s a douche and he did exactly what he’s always done. Rookie mistake by Olesky.

    OTOH, if the Caps were so worried about “the code” why was it ok for Matt Hendricks to jump Nathan Horton the game before? Horton offered to fight Hendricks three times and Hendricks said “no”. And then when Horton wasn’t ready, Hendricks jumped Horton and wouldn’t even allow him to get his gloves off. If he’s going to do that he HAS to answer for it and Hendricks, a pretty tough kid, knows that. So when he breaks “the code” and doesn’t answer for it, I have no sympathy when the Bruins, in the name of McQuaid and Thornton, make him answer for it. The reason Oates gave a half-hearted defense of Hendricks after that game is because he knows Hendricks broke “the code”.

  19. manchestermiracle - Mar 18, 2013 at 9:22 PM

    I’m thinking nothing happens if Olesky just skates away. Yeah, Ott suckered him, but you can’t be taken advantage of without your permission.

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