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

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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.