GM shares Ovechkin's displeasure

Washington Capitals general manager George McPhee shares Alex Ovechkin's displeasure with the officiating during the team's first-round series against the New York Rangers.

"I don't think there's a league conspiracy, but it sure didn't feel right. Alex wasn't wrong," McPhee told the Washington Post. "I talked to them during the series, but at some point you stop. They'll referee the way they want to referee."

Earlier this week, Ovechkin criticized the officiating, particularly the discrepancy in penalties called on the two teams.

"The refereeing ... you understand it yourself. How can there be no penalties at all [on one team] during the playoffs?" Ovechkin told a reporter in Russian. "I am not saying there was a phone call from [the league], but someone just wanted Game 7. For the ratings. You know, the lockout, escrow, the league needs to make profit.

"I don't know whether the refs were predisposed against us or the league. But to not give obvious penalties [against the Rangers], while for us any little thing was immediately penalized."

The Rangers received 28 power-play chances in the seven-game series; the Capitals finished with 16.

"What we didn't get a chance to do was go on the power play very often, and it was a real strength of ours," McPhee told the Post. "It was real good during the season. We didn't get many power plays during the series, I don't know why. We had to kill too many penalties, I don't know why. I didn't think that part of the game from the league standpoint was all that good.

"I didn't like the refereeing, but if you complain about it during the series and you're accused of trying to gain an edge. If you complain about it after a series is over, then it's whining and sour grapes."

Rangers coach John Tortorella also addressed the situation Tuesday.

"We've got everybody and their brother whining out there in Washington about what happened in that series," Tortorella told the New York Daily News on Tuesday. "And I think that's a big reason they lose that series."