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McPhee says lack of power plays ‘didn’t feel right’; Torts says Washington is ‘whining’

May 15, 2013, 1:46 PM EDT

George McPhee Getty Images

George McPhee doesn’t think there was a “league conspiracy,” against his team; however, the Capitals’ general manager did say today that “it didn’t feel right” when Washington didn’t get a single power play during Game 6 of its first-round series with the Rangers, who had the man advantage five times during that game.

New York won Game 6, 1-0, forcing a seventh-and-deciding contest at the Verizon Center, which the Rangers won easily, 5-0.

After Game 7, in a Russian-language interview, Caps captain Alex Ovechkin suggested the power-play differential in Game 6 was due to the NHL wanting the series to go the distance.

“Not saying there was a phone call, but they wanted Game 7,” he said, per Slava Malamud of Sport-Express. “For ratings. You know, lockout, escrow, league must make profit.”

Per the Washington Time’s Stephen Whyno, McPhee said he spoke to the league about the officiating during the series, but to no avail.

Meanwhile, it doesn’t sound like Rangers coach John Tortorella has much time for the Caps’ complaints.

“We’ve got everybody and their brother whining out there in Washington about what happened in that series,” said Tortorella, per Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News, “and I think that’s a big reason they lose that series.”

  1. jb8383 - May 15, 2013 at 1:53 PM

    Says the biggest whiner of them all….

    • blackfoot11 - May 15, 2013 at 2:04 PM

      Torts whines talks and whines to the refs at the start of every period. He’s practically made this comment about every team in the East. Notably, the comment about Sid and Malkin or the bench argument with DeBoer and whining press conference following during the ’12 ECFs.

      • jb8383 - May 15, 2013 at 2:15 PM

        Or his constant pathetic whining about the media and his ridiculous press conferences. The man is the biggest baby and a complete sore loser. Most notably, to me and I know this may seem petty and stupid at this point, but he did not shake hands with any of the Devils players last year after the Devils knocked them out in Round 3. I just cannot get over that, to me that shows he has zero class. Everyone goes down the line and shakes hands after a series ends, he shook Deboer’s right after game ended and then ran off the ice.

    • elvispocomo - May 15, 2013 at 2:49 PM

      Can we all just agree every team does this when they see things that have gone against them. More often than not it may even be unfairly, but I don’t know that there’s any team in the league that has a leg to stand on when trying to discount another as whining.

      • imleftcoast - May 15, 2013 at 4:21 PM

        No we can’t. Can we all agree there is a consistency to the inconsistency, and take a look at improving the officiating and product on the ice?

      • elvispocomo - May 16, 2013 at 12:03 PM

        I’d say we can agree on both then.

  2. steelpenbucs87 - May 15, 2013 at 1:53 PM

    The irony of course is that Torts is the first to call folks whiners but LORD HELP YOU if you ask him a question in a post-loss presser that isn’t phrased exactly the way he would like. Pot, meet kettle – you remember one another from the stove right?

    • bleedbluebaby - May 15, 2013 at 3:31 PM

      He “whines” to the press because he has made it painfully clear he only responds to questions, not statements. He’s the coach and he believes in his style of coaching so he doesn’t want the media chiming in with their perspective on it.

      • steelpenbucs87 - May 15, 2013 at 4:20 PM

        He gets paid millions of dollars to be the coach of an NHL team and part of that is dealing with the media. In 29 of the other 30 press rooms its quotidian to ask a coach to “share his thoughts” or “talk about” some aspect of the game, yet Torts is the only one who gets his panties in a bunch over it.

        With that being said that is FAR from the only instance or the most egregious instance of Torts getting huffy.

      • theclaim - May 15, 2013 at 5:04 PM

        I assume you mean like HE chimed in on the Caps? OK then?

  3. athletesfoot101 - May 15, 2013 at 1:53 PM

    I thought Tortorella didn’t comment on other teams. Him talking about someone else’s attitude is laughable.

  4. fivetozeroingame7 - May 15, 2013 at 1:57 PM

    What a bunch of pathetic babies. FIVE TO ZERO IN GAME SEVEN, PERIOD

    • letsgopens8771 - May 15, 2013 at 5:32 PM

      At the end of the day, that’s all that really matters. If I was Tortorella, I wouldn’t say that the Caps are whining (although it is true 99% of the time, the Caps are nothing but diving whining sissies), I would rather have just said, “Let’s let the scoreboard do the real talking, shall we?”

      • stakex - May 15, 2013 at 10:11 PM

        You’re a Crosby fan… but don’t like diving and whining and sissies? Just, wow.

      • broncs93 - May 16, 2013 at 8:06 AM

        That was perfect stakex!

  5. ss22703 - May 15, 2013 at 2:01 PM

    The officiating of that game was “disgusting.” “Maybe [the referees] wanted to get it to an overtime. I’m not sure if they have meetings about that or what.” Wow, sounds kinda familar

    • 19to77 - May 15, 2013 at 2:24 PM

      The calls were bad. No-one can or should deny that. But they’ve been bad in general. The SJ-Van series was awful, especially the final game, the Pens-Isles series was questionable, Sens-Habs was full of weak calls mostly going Montreal’s way (and they still couldn’t cut it!), etc. It’s not like one or two teams have the refs on their side. The quality of refereeing this postseason just seems bad all around.

      Besides. 5-0 in game 7 on home freaking ice. The Caps choked their way to a loss that they richly deserved.

    • blackfoot11 - May 15, 2013 at 2:47 PM

      The officiating has been below average all season and post-season. This impacts all teams and each had to cope with it. I am a Caps fan and my team did not get it done, period. No excuses, no explanations. However, it is quite funny to hear some Rangers fans on here bashing my team and acting like their’s is so much better w/o flaws, FO questions and lack of production from top players. Good luck with the B’s.

  6. stratomaticfan - May 15, 2013 at 2:02 PM

    Funny how he didn’t complain about the obvious missed delay of game in the last minute of game 1.

    • jpelle82 - May 15, 2013 at 2:59 PM

      exactly what i was thinking

    • billyhauntswizards - May 15, 2013 at 4:56 PM

      do you mean game 2?

  7. 19to77 - May 15, 2013 at 2:17 PM

    GMGM wants to believe the easy lie – that ref bias cost them the series and that the roster doesn’t need to change – because the hard truth is, the team needs a complete change in attitude and a fairly major shift in personnel. Chokevechkin is no captain, their defense is porous and they got ground out by a team with much higher work ethic. Those aren’t easy fixes, and his job should be on the line if he’s willing to just stand by the same roster yet again after years of early exits. It isn’t good enough. Own up to it.

    • thesableo - May 15, 2013 at 2:38 PM

      Ovechkin is a fantastically skilled player, but he is not the character guy you build your team around. They need a real leader.

      • 19to77 - May 15, 2013 at 2:54 PM

        They have several. Ward, Hendricks, Laich, all guys that maybe lack top-six skill, but definitely have the work ethic and personality to wear the C much better than he does.

      • blackfoot11 - May 15, 2013 at 3:44 PM

        Agreed, I would have preferred Laich to be Captain over Ovi, but that ship has sailed and the Caps deal with Ovi.

    • jpelle82 - May 15, 2013 at 3:07 PM

      at one point this season they had poti and schultz in for crying out loud…john erskine got an extension for just showing up to the rink…how could he not think they need personnel changes is beyond me. carlson is dreadful, alzner cant stay out of the box or the puck in the rink, and mike green is a liability at best defensively. they have no depth up front and were forced by one injury to send a rookie 19 yr old into the fray mid series with no previous nhl experience….granted he did alright but not a good sign of confidence in your roster when you had 2 other guys available in crabb and volpatti. ribeiro would be smart to run for anywhere but here, he should get a decent payday too.

      • blackfoot11 - May 15, 2013 at 3:40 PM

        I agree that the blueline needs a serious make over. They need a few solid defensive defenseman who can log 25+ minutes/game, and sprinkle in the others that fit what Oates wants. Ward-Perreault-Fehr did fine on the third line and produced, but the 2nd line and 4th lines needs to improve. Getting a healthy Laich back will help, Brouwer had a good year, but the 2nd line Centerman is again a question with Ribeiro as a UFA. The Caps desperately need a solid two-way player at LW to play with Ovi and Backstrom. GMGM needs to roll up his sleeves and go to work on the roster.

      • jpelle82 - May 15, 2013 at 6:11 PM

        the defensive pool this year is gonna be thin as far as free agency goes, at least for finding a good stay at home guy that can log those minutes. orlov coming back will help tremendously but beyond him i’m not too familiar with what the caps have for defensemen in the system…they might need to trade on draft day to get what they need….i fear gmgm is not the man for the job anymore though, especially after comments like these

    • valoisjoeybfeld69 - May 15, 2013 at 4:56 PM

      Let’s shop Ovi. Let me preface this by the following. I ‘m not sure I’d do any these trades, but GMGM Should start talking with his owner and and rest of management to move Ovi. Where can he go? West coast? San Jose needs to get over the hump in the playoffs. Perhaps they could give him a secondary role there. Couture, Torres in return for Ovi and a first round pick. Chicago? Can he play for a guy like JQ? No. Minnesota? Now there’s a dysfunctional team where he would fit right in. :-) Colarado? Not if Roy is the coach. Vancouver? Throw in the Sedin twins, one outstanding prospect, one or 2 first round draft choices, and tell the Caps they have to take Luongo. Anaheim, Getzlaf or Perry for Ovi 1 on 1.

      • 2jivecrew - May 15, 2013 at 6:18 PM

        No GM in the league would trade to take on Ovie’s contract. Far too big a number for his body of work over the last few seasons. Say what you will about his goals this year, but its not near enough.

      • taintedlombardis - May 15, 2013 at 8:28 PM

        Any team in the league would take the best player. So many idiots…

  8. kingme30 - May 15, 2013 at 2:22 PM

    Guess the whole lack of accountability thing Washington has going on comes from the top down…

    • fivetozeroingame7 - May 15, 2013 at 2:23 PM

      It’s a beauty to watch, isn’t it?

  9. billyhauntswizards - May 15, 2013 at 2:25 PM

    McPhee is just as much a whiny baby as Torts, and I’m a rangers fan. But he has a point, the coach, their players, and now their GM. All they’ve done is cry cry cry. They need to just stfu and be professionals. Again Torts cries plenty, but there comes a time when the entire organization is whining, they just need to stop. It’s pathetic.

    • thesableo - May 15, 2013 at 2:51 PM

      Not meaning to beat on them out of nowhere, but I’ve felt the same way about the Canucks in recent years. When your owner and GM and coach are constantly complaining about how unfair things are, your players aren’t going to feel accountable for what happens on the ice either. At some point it doesn’t matter if you’re right or wrong- you need to set a professional example for the people below you in the organization.
      I understand some of it is just posturing- trying to get more calls to go your way and all that. But if you do it too much, your players are not going to have a winning attitude.

  10. myopinionisrighterthanyours - May 15, 2013 at 2:38 PM

    What really shouldn’t feel right to McPhee was his team’s effort (or lack thereof) in game 7.

  11. shoobiedoobin - May 15, 2013 at 2:45 PM

    I’ve seen too much to believe this league doesn’t favor certain teams. This is a business. This collective big-man self-congratulatory attitude we have towards complaints is irresponsible. What if it ends up being true? Is no one allowed to say anything about something like this?

    But look how fast we all pounce on a chance to judge someone and call him a whiner. It makes us feel big. It’s kind of pathetic, really. How poorly must you feel about yourself to be this gleeful about judging someone else?

    Deep down no one wants it to be true-it’d taint anything your team’s done and every bit of hockey you’ve poured your life into. Hence why we’ll never, EVER admit something like this can happen. It happened in the NBA and in other places.

    • thesableo - May 15, 2013 at 2:48 PM

      Even Ovechkin wasn’t saying that the league favored a certain team. He said they favored having a game 7…which the Caps then lost, all on their own.

      • shoobiedoobin - May 15, 2013 at 2:51 PM

        I don’t care, I wasn’t even necessarily talking about this specific game. But I’ve seen officials govern the game with difference rule books for each team.

    • kingme30 - May 15, 2013 at 2:59 PM

      Because the NHL wouldn’t want to see the Caps against the Pens in the conference finals??? This is not the Panthers we are talking about. DC is a huge market with one of the leagues biggest house hold names….

      • shoobiedoobin - May 15, 2013 at 3:09 PM

        Again, I wasn’t even necessarily talking about this game or even series. And I can’t speak for the NHL.

      • ithacamike - May 15, 2013 at 3:18 PM

        Do you honestly think the league would have rather had Washington advance than their beloved “always on NBC” Rangers? C’mon, you’re smarter than that.

        NBC/NBCSN are thrilled with Chi/Det and Bos/NYR.

      • kingme30 - May 15, 2013 at 3:22 PM

        I’m sure they are. But the Rangers won because they were the better team, not because NBC wanted it. The Caps are bad for hockey anyway, their entire organization is full of a bunch of whiners that take plays/parts of seasons off. Terrible example of how to play hockey. Their fans are busch league too. I don’t even think half of them new there was a team there before 2005….

    • 2jivecrew - May 15, 2013 at 6:57 PM

      If the league wanted to favor certain team they’d be favoring Toronto………the most profitable team in the league whether they’re winning or losing. If they were nudging the officiating toward the profitable market teams the whistles would’ve been blown every time a Bruin touched a puck in game 7 once that 4-1 lead was established.

      And you think the possibility of an Ovie/Sid ECF matchup wouldn’t have made the league absolutely giddy? Please.

      But hey, don’t let common sense and logic get in the way of sour grapes.

    • gallyhatch - May 16, 2013 at 7:00 AM

      “But look how fast we all pounce on a chance to judge someone and call him a whiner. It makes us feel big. It’s kind of pathetic, really. How poorly must you feel about yourself to be this gleeful about judging someone else?”

      What does it say about you by coming on here & judging people for their comments & their opinions?

      You’re a hypocrite.. . . talk about pathetic.

      “This collective big-man self-congratulatory attitude we have towards complaints is irresponsible.”

      Be sure to give yourself a pat on the back for that one “big man”. Try to get off your high horse while you’re at it.

      If the league turned out to be fixed, no people wouldn’t be happy. But to suggest that people don’t have the mental capacity to consider the possiblity is one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever heard. My team’s accomplishments would be no more tarnished or tainted than any of the other teams.

      I don’t know where you got your psychology degree, but I don’t think people are so mentally weak that their lives would be irrevocably altered were the NHL to be discovered to be fixed.

  12. villi5ed - May 15, 2013 at 2:50 PM

    Rangers fan here. I thought the absence of calls against the Caps in Game 6 was strange. I can understand the sense of frustration, because there were a handful of plays where the NYR could easily have been whistled. But teams that “have” it find a way to overcome that stuff. They don’t obsess about it. And they show up for a Game 7 at home.

    • fivetozeroingame7 - May 15, 2013 at 2:55 PM

      Not to mention the no-call on Ovechkin in game 7.

      Which, if you’re just joining us, the Caps lost, 5 to zero.

      • thesableo - May 15, 2013 at 3:06 PM

        Wait, what was the score again, fivetozeroingame7? It’s like no one will even tell me.

    • smgraff4 - May 15, 2013 at 6:31 PM

      As a Caps fan, I agree. The teams that win are those that know you have to win despite the officiating–keep playing your game, and keep believing and keep willing to work hard to not let the officials affect you (and your series).

      You need a team and players that are unflappable in that way. Ovechkin clearly isn’t (and Russia’s doing just fine without him). If the Caps really want to go for the Championship, Ilya Nikulin (a much better example of a Russian-born leader), Alexei Morozov, Danis Zaripov, Alexei Medvedev, and Alexei Tereschenko better all Rock the Red in DC next season.

  13. cdalton2690 - May 15, 2013 at 3:29 PM

    GMGM needs to shut his mouth, he is the biggest problem for the caps. I agree that the lack of calls against NYR seemed odd but in no way does that give the capitals an excuse for not scoring a goal in the last 2 games. Even if the NHL fixed game 6 the caps still blew game 7 that they had a very good shot of winning but didn’t bother to show up. Everything with this organization has changed in the last 10 – 15 i.e. coaches, players (they went through multiple rebuilding seasons), equipment managers etc. The one thing that hasn’t changed is the GM. And this year he makes one of the worst trades in Capitals history. Caps need to start fresh with a new GM, that wont fix all of the problems but they can be a start.

  14. thecrabcakestate - May 15, 2013 at 3:30 PM

    As a caps fan. We absolutely deserved to lose game 7. But not the series.

    • fivetozeroingame7 - May 15, 2013 at 3:40 PM

      about that….

    • kingme30 - May 15, 2013 at 3:46 PM

      Pretty sure you deserved to lose the series because…well…you did. Anytime a team gets murdered in a deciding game 7 like that they clearly don’t belong. Rangers were tougher and our best player shined. Caps got grinded down and their best player was nowhere to be found the entire series. Hence…they deserved to lose the series.

    • billyhauntswizards - May 15, 2013 at 5:01 PM

      yeah, you did deserve to lose the series. If you didn’t, you’d have won.

  15. capsfan19 - May 15, 2013 at 4:59 PM

    Ha ha habha tortallini you’re a real piece of work.

    • billyhauntswizards - May 15, 2013 at 5:13 PM

      your whole team is a real piece of work. what a loser culture.

      • taintedlombardis - May 15, 2013 at 8:29 PM

        What have the Rags done?

      • billyhauntswizards - May 15, 2013 at 9:58 PM

        I call it a loser culture because none of the players on the Caps seem to have that fire in them. Only Brouwer has won a cup on the team, Caps played uninspired hockey these playoffs and now the entire organization is blaming the refs up and down. Your team lost cause they didn’t give their best effort, and were outplayed. It really says something about the culture of the capitals when even your GM is b–ching about the refs like a dam 5 year old.

      • blackfoot11 - May 15, 2013 at 10:57 PM

        Loser culture? You talk like the Rangers are have a winning culture and are the model franchise. You Rangers are in a serious need to upgrade their almost 20 year old hardware, as the Caps need to win their first Cup.

  16. rpiotr01 - May 15, 2013 at 5:23 PM

    Officials in every sport know which teams have been penalized most often and which have been penalized very little. It shouldn’t be this way, but teams that have a history of not taking penalties get the benefit of the doubt, and vice versa. I’ve seen it in football all the time especially on special teams, and you see it in hockey. Like it or not, that’s what happened here – Rangers have been disciplined all year, refs know that, they tend to swallow the whistle a little.

    It’s still no excuse. Caps act as if they have no chance of scoring when not on the PP. The real story of the series is that Henrik Lundqvist played probably the best hockey of his life in this stretch. Caps carried the play so often in the first 5 games, this could have been a sweep if not for Lundqvist stepping up and making big, timely saves.

    Washington got beat by a hot goalie for 6 games, not the refs. Then in game 7 they let their own paranoia get inside their heads, lost focus, and got blown out of their own building.

  17. 2jivecrew - May 15, 2013 at 6:24 PM

    Soft finesse teams like Washington always lose to gritty teams in the playoffs. And then they always complain about it. Nothing new. This year the refs are the excuse for the Caps (with their fans it’s always the excuse) but we’ve seen this before with them. Plenty of times. They are simply not built for the playoffs and the organization needs serious turnover. They don’t award the Cup for style points.

    • handsofsweed - May 15, 2013 at 8:28 PM

      Quite honestly, if they DID award the Cup for style points, this Washington team would have still lost in the second round, at best.

  18. larrydavid7000 - May 15, 2013 at 6:41 PM

    First and for most hockey is a stupid FN sport period.!!! Second tortorella your cheap shot at Washington team is classless and I can understand where you are coming from since you coach a NY team. Stay classless ny teams.

    • 19to77 - May 15, 2013 at 7:35 PM

      The hell are you commenting on a hockey board for, then? Son, you are an entire box of tools.

      • handsofsweed - May 15, 2013 at 8:29 PM

        A box of tools inside a bag of mashed-up a$$holes.

  19. cspsrbums - May 15, 2013 at 8:19 PM

    Ranger Fans if the shoe was on the other foot you would be whining to, all of you did after game 1. Also Torts is the first one to take his fine and complain after a game in his interview, that’s probably what Oates should have done. So get off your high horse with the whining comment because you are no different , don’t think you are. Also remember do not and I repeat do not complain about one call in the next series

    • billyhauntswizards - May 15, 2013 at 10:00 PM

      our coach might be a whiny baby but our players certainly aren’t, neither is our GM. They’re not brats like Eric Fehr and Choke-by. Maybe they need to grow up a little.

      • blackfoot11 - May 15, 2013 at 11:03 PM

        Torts represents the players and he has said as much. Quit your whining and go enjoy your series win while it lasts as nothing is guaranteed.

  20. live4hockey - May 15, 2013 at 10:00 PM

    last words by GMGM??

  21. caps4cup - May 17, 2013 at 12:00 AM

    If the officiating was fair the whole series, caps would of won in 4

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