Caps Lose to Flyers and Officials
The Bruce Boudreau era started with a Caps OT win in Philadelphia last November and his first season as head coach came to a crashing end today as the Flyers won on a power play goal in OT to win their first round Stanley Cup Playoff series four games to three at the Verizon Center on Tuesday night. This was a heartbreaking loss for the Caps and their fans and the way the game was officiated by Paul Devorski and Don “have another donut” Koharski should leave a very bad taste in their mouths as well.
The Flyers second goal was very controversial. Right before a loose puck made its way to Sami Kapanen, Philadelphia’s Patrick Thoresen gave Shaone Morrisonn a shove, and the Washington defenseman plowed into Huet, knocking the goalie off his skates. Apparently the NHL and their “spin doctors” posted an explanation on the Web, saying Thoresen legally body checked Morrisonn and no Philadelphia player made contact with Huet. This is horse manure. You cannot legally body check someone if they don’t have the puck and Morrisonn NEVER had the puck so Thoreson should have been called for interference. Koharski and Devorski missed the boat with a no call and that is pathetic in a Game 7. Koharski should have retired several years ago anyways, he is a terrible referee and has gotten worse over the years.
Also, the call on Tom Poti in OT was very questionable given the way things had been not called in third period. For the Flyers to win a series on a borderline power play is just awful for the game and for Washington.
So now the league misses out on a Pittsburgh-Washington and a Crosby versus Ovechkin showdown but maybe we’ll get to see that next spring.
For the Caps, the referees calls and no-calls will hurt but what will also sting was their inability to finish off several chances in the third period, especially the situation where Ovechkin was all alone with Flyers goalie Marty Biron in the slot with two minutes left. The Great #8 passed up a great shooting opportunity there and tried to pass to Sergei Fedorov instead. Ovechkin will be thinking about that decision all season.
I’ll have more on the game and the Caps season over the next several days but one thing that does need to be pointed out was the outstanding play of Caps goalie Cristobal Huet who single handily kept Washington in the game at the end of the first period when the Flyers played all but 22 seconds of the last six minutes on the power play (two minutes of which the Flyers had a two man advantage). During those penalty kills there were several holds and hooks by Flyer players that also did not get called. But that is what you get with Koharski and for the league’s sake I hope he does not officiate another playoff game this season.