Keeping Score

Conspiracy in the NHL? Why Alex Ovechkin Suggested So

Alex Ovechkin blasts NHL officiating after disheartening Game 7 loss. The hockey playoffs, however, will move on

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Jonathan Newton / The Washington Post / Getty Images

Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin (8) watches the face-off during first period action against the New York Rangers in game 7 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals on May 13, 2013 in Washington, DC

Who can stop Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin? According to Ovechkin, maybe Gary Bettman, the NHL commissioner.

Ovechkin has suggested that someone – NHL hire ups? TV execs? The refs? — conspired against the Capitals, who lost 5-0 to the New York Rangers Monday night in Game 7 of their first round series. It was the fourth time in Ovechkin’s otherwise brilliant career that his team has lost a Game 7 at home.  After the game, Ovechkin was still smarting about Game 6, a 1-0 New York win. In that game, the Rangers were not assessed any penalties. In a Russian-language interview after Game 7, Overchkin said:

“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…”

Ovechkin gets somewhat of a pass on this: he was understandably frustrated. Washington’s post-season failures are threatening to overwhelm the narrative of his career. But … wow. Pro sports leagues hate conspiracy theories. The urban legend that the NBA rigged the 1985 draft lottery so that the New York Knicks could draft Patrick Ewing always irks commissioner David Stern. For one of the league’s top attractions to touch this third rail, even if it was a heat-of-the-moment reaction, certainly sent shudders through the NHL offices. Which, incidentally, are in New York. Hmmm.

Just kidding. The Rangers simply outclassed the Caps. Ovechkin doesn’t look good, complaining about the refs after his team got walloped, after she scored just one goal in the series. And the NHL got lucky here. Instead of obsessing over a possible conspiracy, most hockey fans — and even non-hockey fans — are chatting about Boston’s incredible comeback victory in Game 7 over Toronto.

(MORE: Post-lockout NHL – Higher Ticket Prices, Better Attendance)

8 comments
AndyKoniuch
AndyKoniuch

do you ever watch a ranger game and see the calls refs dont make for us? it works both ways

pcook4012
pcook4012

@AndyKoniuch Except it didn't work both ways, lol. I just think it's hilarious how they get to game 7 and all of the sudden the refs want to let the boys play. I saw the game 7 blowout coming considering the series probably should have been over in 5 games they had just let them play the whole series. It got to the Caps players.

SDN
SDN

Poor Ovechkin... Once again demonstrating he can't lead a team to post-season success, while his rival Crosby continues to show that he is the best player in the world and also a real leader.


pcook4012
pcook4012

@SDN You mean the Crosby that the Pens still make the playoffs without him even playing? Come on with this nonsense... Rangers pretty much took number 8 out of the equation and the Caps lost, lol. Besides, Ovechkin was the only one skating like he WANTED to win in Game 7. Handful of shots, and had a third of the teams hits by himself. But considering you probably didn't watch it, because most haters tend to comment on things without actually having firsthand knowledge, you wouldn't know that. He stepped up, and the rest of the team looked like crap TBH.

bomarshall6
bomarshall6

As an Islanders fan who had to witness a game this year where 0 power plays were given to the Isles and multiple PPs were handed to the Rangers, I sympathize with Ovechkin. Apparently, the NYR can play rivalry and playoff games without having to go on a single penalty kill, while the rival or playoff opponent will certainly have to go on at least one penalty kill. Apparently the cleanest team in the history of the league and sport is the 2012-2013 Rangers.......

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