Washington Capitals general manager George McPhee questioned the officiating in the team's Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series against the New York Rangers during his end-of-season media availability on Wednesday afternoon.
McPhee raised issues with events in different games and stated he called the NHL to voice his concerns. Apparently, there wasn't much he could do. A specific incident of note included the amount of penalties called against the Capitals in Game 3. Over the course of the first 36 minutes of the contest, Washington was penalized six times. New York scored on one of the power plays and ultimately won, 4-3.
Another point of contention was the Capitals lack of power plays in Game 6, which the Rangers won, 1-0. New York had five power plays during the contest but failed to convert on any of them. Washington did not have a single man advantage. The Rangers were the least penalized team during the regular season (9.2 penalty minutes per game average), while the Capitals had the league's top-rated power play.
In addition, McPhee stated that he agreed with the opinion of captain Alex Ovechkin, who stated the NHL wanted a Game 7 in the series. McPhee doesn't believe there was a league conspiracy but still thought "something didn't feel right."
Given the nature of a do-or-die game in a playoff series, it's not a huge leap to say the NHL -- which profits off organized athletic events -- would be interested in such a contest. It is, however, strange to insinuate that the league would purposefully fix the sixth game of the series to force Game 7. The logic of voicing those opinions during a press conference is even stranger.
It wouldn't be surprising to learn in the coming days that the NHL contacts McPhee to address this line of thinking.