Oates Capitals

Oates: today’s refs have ‘shorter fuses,’ so Caps need to zip it


The Washington Capitals don’t need to agree with last night’s officiating to know they have to stop yapping at the refs so much.

The day after a controversial roughing call on Mike Ribeiro led to Ottawa’s game-winning goal in overtime, Capitals coach Adam Oates told reporters he believes today’s referees have “shorter fuses” and longer memories compared to when he played.

Translation: don’t give the men in stripes reason to remember you.

“It seems my generation, if you had a night where you had a disagreement with a referee, the next time you played it was over,” Oates said, per CSNWashington.com.

“I feel the referees have shorter fuses. One of the things that has been hard this year is they don’t want the players swearing, which of course I understand. Except you’ve been doing it your whole life. It’s not that easy to change. We’re trying to change and I understand why. But since you’ve been doing it since midget hockey, it’s hard to change.”

Added winger Troy Brouwer: “We’ve got to find ways to make bonds with referees so that they’re more lenient with you and they like reffing you rather than, ‘Oh no, I’ve got to ref the Capitals again. I’m going to get verbally abused.'”

If Oates is right and the referees have indeed been clamping down on swearing, perhaps it’s because all the games are televised live now, and with microphones everywhere.

Or, maybe the refs just don’t want to be sworn at.

The Capitals only have one regular-season game left to mend fences with the refereeing brethren before the playoffs start next week.

Washington hosts Boston tomorrow night.

Measure of revenge? Red Wings bottle Lightning

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In some ways, it really felt like their first-round series.

For all the talent on both ends of the rink with the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning, each squad can really smother opponents defensively when things go that way.

Through two periods, the two teams were very quiet. Things really picked up when Justin Abdelkader unleashed a big hit, a moment that injected enough life into the proceedings for the Red Wings to eventually build a 3-1 win.

Maybe they’re slipping under the radar a bit compared to previous iterations of the team, but it’s interesting that the Red Wings are now undefeated in three games.

They’ve been impressive at times, too, outscoring opponents by a combined score of 11-4.

Call it a refreshing time after Mike Babcock or merely carryover from a subtly solid run last season, but either way, the Red Wings may just be able to keep up their end of a brewing rivalry.

Hands of gold: Connor McDavid scores his first NHL goal


Taking three games to score your first NHL goal isn’t a big deal, unless you’re someone like Connor McDavid.

The mega-hyped wunderkind must feel relieved to finally find the net, as he tied tonight’s Edmonton Oilers – Dallas Stars skirmish with a 2-2 deflection goal, which you can watch above this post’s headline.

To no surprise, there were plenty of reactions, including Pierre LeBrun’s tweet (which inspired part of this headline).

Of course, there were the inevitable Wayne Gretzky comparisons:

Interesting thing you might not consider: Stars fans will have to stomach this one even more frequently than that time Patrik Stefan biffed that empty-netter (also against the Oilers):

McDavid may have also delivered his first questionable check, too: