The Washington Capitals will coonclude a four-game road trip tonight, against one of the poorest teams in the National Hockey League and one of their former teammates when they play the Minnesota North Stars. The 9 p.m. game will be broadcast over WTOP-1500 following the Bullets' basketball game.
The North Stars yesterday acquired Harvey (Tooo Tall) Bennett from Philadelphia in exchange for Blake Dunlop and a third-round choice in the 1978 amateur draft.
Bennett, at 6-foot-4 and 215 pounds, is one of the biggest players in the league. He formerly played with Pittsburgh and Washington.
Minnesota has one of the worst records in the league. The North Stars have posted only two points in eight games, a 3-0 victory over the Boston Bruin, Wednesday night. Only one team has fewer points than the North Stars - St. Louis, with one.
The Capitals, a notoriously bad road team in their first three NHL seasons, had a 1-1 record on the current trip going into last night's game against Colorado at Denver.
Washington, which will have played five of its first seven games on the road, returns to Capital Centre Wednesday night against the Chicago Black Hawks.
The North Stars, in a protest to the [WORD ILLEGIBLE] office, blame Bruins coach Don Cherry for inciting stick-swinging [WORD ILLEGIBLE] in their Wednesday victory.
Club president Gordon Ritz also accused rookie referee Denis Morel "inept officiating" and asked that be barred from future Minnesota [WORD ILLEGIBLE] games.
Ritz said yesterday [WORD ILLEGIBLE] a video tape of the game was en route to Brian O'Neill, NHL executive vice-president in charge of discipline.
Ritz claimed that Cherry was the "cheerleader urging his players on," and that Morel could have avoided the brawl near the end if he had ejected Cherry.
Cherry replied: "If I had a chicken club like that, I's complain to everybody, too. They need all the help they can get.Everybody hates us and they're all out to get us."
The first fight broke out in the first period between Bruin John Wensink and North Star Tom Reid. It was aggravated when Boston's Terry O'Reilly, who had received a penalty, skated the length of the ice to join the fight instead of going to the penalty box.
Morel ejected O'Reilly and Stan Jonathan, O'Reilly apparently for striking the official with his stick and Jonathan for slugging Steve Jensen from the blind side after finishing a fight with Alex Pirus. Jensen then upended a linesman in an attempt to reach Jonathan.
Ritz said he got in touch with Scotty Morrison, NHL referee-in-chief and Morrison told him Morel would not be officiating in the NHL for some time. Ritz added that Frank Udvari, supervisor of NHL referees, viewed the game and agreed Morel should have ejected Cherry.