The Washington Capitals have issued the following statement on their team website:
We disagree with the NHL’s decision to suspend Nicklas Backstrom.
This has been a competitive and physical series, and we do not understand why a suspension was imposed in this case while other incidents in this series have not been reviewed.
Our singular focus now is on Game 4, and we look forward to the energy that our great fans provide.
As reported earlier, Backstrom was suspended one game for cross-checking Boston’s Rich Peverley in the face. He’ll sit out Thursday’s contest as a result, something the Capitals are clearly not happy with.
The Caps’ statement comes just three days after the Rangers posted a similar critique on their site regarding the Carl Hagelin suspension, saying they were “perplexed in the ruling’s inconsistency.”
Washington players were also critical of the Backstrom suspension, according to the Washington Times:
“Sometimes you think it’s right decision, sometimes it’s not, sometimes you want to laugh,” captain Alex Ovechkin said. “So right now I think it’s kind of bad decision. But there is nothing you can do.”
Defenseman Karl Alzner believed Backstrom cross-checked Boston Bruins forward Rich Peverley to the face by accident but still was not surprised by the suspension.
“Not really. See for yourself, it doesn’t look good,” Alzner said. “I haven’t heard any of the reasoning why it’s a game, why it’s not more games, why it’s [not] no games. I haven’t heard any of the explanation. That’s kind of what we were expecting: match penalty.”
And finally, some feedback from the Twittersphere:
Joe Haggerty, CSNNE.com: “Words from Caps’ statement would probably have more clout if it actually came out of George McPhee’s mouth rather than in faceless statement.”
Jamie Baker, CSN Bay Area: “So now I’m really confused b/c the Capitals said they are confused but I thought everyone in hockey was already confused. #SoConfusing”