Alex Ovechkin had plenty to say after his Washington Capitals were eliminated from the postseason. After the New York Rangers routed the Caps 5-0 in Game 7 of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series, the two-time Hart Trophy winner turned to conspiracy theories and profane critiques involving bodily functions to explain what happened in the series and its decisive game.
"Not saying there was a phone call, but they wanted Game 7. For ratings. You know, lockout, escrow, league must make profit," Ovechkin told Slava Malamud of Sport-Express in a Russian-language interview, via Puck Daddy.
Ovechkin's suspicions about the officiating stem from the fact that his team served nearly twice as many penalty minutes as the Rangers over the entire series, with the disparity becoming especially marked in the later games. Over Games 5-7, Washington served 36 penalty minutes while the Rangers notched just 12, according to ESPN.com.
"It's disappointing. It was a tough series. Maybe somebody from upstairs wants to make that kind of toughness for us but that's all I can say," Ovechkin told reporters at the Verizon Center after Game 7. "We lose it. They played great tonight. Henrik Lundqvist was unbelievable."
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When not blaming the officials on the ice or the NHL itself, Ovechkin was also open in criticizing his own team's play.
The Capitals have made six straight playoff appearances -- winning the Southeast division in five of those years -- but are just 3-6 in playoff series. They have yet to make it past the second round with Ovechkin on the team.
"Nobody was pointing finger, 'Okay, it was your fault we lose the game.' It's everybody's fault. It’s all the guys' fault. My fault, [Nicklas Backstrom, Mike Ribeiro]. It's everybody," he told Barry Svrluga of the Washington Post regarding this latest season-ending defeat.