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After a regular season that saw him regain his MVP form, Alex Ovechkin had a frustrating postseason as the Washington Capitals lost in seven games to the New York Rangers.
He pumped 30 shots on Henrik Lundqvist, scoring just one goal, a power-play tally back in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal. For the fourth time in his career, Ovechkin’s Capitals lost in a Game 7 on home ice. The captain has yet to reach the conference finals – and this is eighth NHL season.
Like we said: Ovechkin is frustrated. And that frustration manifested itself in a petulant postgame comment about the officiating in the series, which saw the Rangers win Game 6 without the Capitals receiving a single power play.
Via Slava Malamud of Sport-Express (in a Russian-language interview), Ovechkin said after Game 7:
“The refereeing... You understand it yourself. How can there be no penalties at all (on one team) during the playoffs?
“I am not saying there was a phone call from (the league), but someone just wanted Game 7. For the ratings. You know, the lockout, escrow, the League needs to make profit... I don't know whether the refs were predisposed against us or the League. But to not give obvious penalties (against the Capitals), while for us any little thing was immediately penalized...”
Thus continues Ovechkn’s escrow obsession …
You can’t blame Ovechkin for being frustrated, what with the power play being the Capitals’ meal ticket and the officials canceling that ticket when they don’t whistle the Rangers for any penalties. (Washington had two power plays in Game 7, as did the Rangers.)
But remember when John Tortorella was fined $30,000 for suggesting that the refs “wanted” overtime in the Winter Classic after conspiring with NBC?