By no means was Boston Bruins winger Brad Marchand blaming referees Chris Lee and Jon McIsaac for him and his team losing 2-1 to the Washington Capitals on Saturday afternoon, but he also wasn’t happy with the job they did.
“Around the league, whether you call everything chintzy like they did on ‘CC’ or ‘Lindy’ [Hampus Lindholm], or let it all go,” Marchand said. “It can’t be half-and-half throughout the game. You know guys have no idea what they can and can’t do, but that’s part of it.”
The main origin of Marchand’s frustration with the officiating Saturday came early in the game. The Boston Bruins were called for three minor penalties in a span of 28 seconds just over five minutes into the first period. While all three were questionable, the two-minute slashing call on Brad Marchand at 5:20 of the opening frame left him in pain and bewilderment that he was headed to the penalty box. Marchand was digging at Capitals goalie Darcy Kuemper for a loose puck, and was then cross-checked in the head from behind by Capitals center Evgeni Kuznetsov. Somehow, the referees decided Marchand should also go to the penalty box for slashing.
As if that wasn’t bad enough for the Boston Bruins, Charlie Coyle was whistled off for hooking four seconds later, and then 24 seconds later, Bruins defenseman Hampus Lindholm was sent to the box for interference. Just 40 seconds later, Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom put the Caps up 1-0 with a powerplay goal.
“I think they called a slashing – I think, I don’t know, I didn’t get an explanation – but I thought the puck was loose, apparently it wasn’t, that’s their call. …I think they had a tough night [Saturday],” Marchand said when asked how he felt about getting cross-checked in the head and still somehow going to the sin-bin.
“They called a really, really suspect call on Coyle there early in the game, and if you’re going to call it like that, then you can’t let some of the stuff go that they let go, and that’s part of the problem because just this whole year they’ve been very inconsistent. They’ll make a call like that and ‘Hallsy’ [Taylor Hall], gets hauled down in front of the net in the second period, and there’s nothing there so. …again, it has nothing to do with the outcome of the game but they had a tough night.”
As Marchand vehemently pleaded his case to Lee, Lee appeared to swear at Marchand tell him to ‘shut up and get in there’. Marchand was asked if he thinks officials have become too confrontational and the Boston Bruins winger agreed, saying he thinks they do it for the TV audience.
“Yeah at times,” Marchand said. “I think a lot of it has to do with mics and the cameras. …they just can’t win and we know that they have a very tough job to do but every ref’s different.”