Flyers forward Ryan White earned a bit of attention in Washington this week for suggesting that the Caps might be getting a few breaks from officials.
“They’re the Presidents’ Trophy winner,” he said Monday morning. “You get a lot of breaks. Decisions that are maybe 50-50, I think a lot of them are going their way right now. I think being in their home rink helps them as well, and we’re hoping for a little bit of that here tonight. I think having our crowd on the ref and having our crowd asking for calls, I think that’s going to go a little bit more our way. I think it’s just the way it goes, not because I think the league wants the Caps to do well; I just think because they’re the Presidents’ Trophy winner, and I think when you’re the top team you get a little bit more of the shakes at times.”
Both teams have had eight power plays through two games, although the Caps have scored three times with a man advantage while the Flyers have been shut out. There were a couple oddities in Saturday’s Game 2, especially when an apparent delayed penalty call against the Caps instead turned out to be a call against Philadelphia. In any case, I asked White whether the top teams should get more of the shakes, something many fans assume happens in the NBA.
“Do I think it’s right? No. Is it what it is? Yes,” White said. “I mean, am I complaining? No. It’s been like that forever. We can’t use that as an excuse, we can’t use it as a reason why we’re not winning. We’ve got to fight through that and just keep our nose to the grindstone and keep going here and battle through it. It’s just another thing we’ve got to battle through.”
Other Flyers declined even to explore this topic.
“I mean, they’re a good hockey team,” Brayden Schenn said of the Caps. “Hopefully we’ll get as many calls as they do, but for me, I’m not going to start worrying about the officials and the refs. That’s not going to help us at all to worry about who has more power plays or who’s getting calls their way. I think for us, we’re just trying to worry about ourselves tonight, and hopefully the game will take care of itself.”
White, in any case, seemed pleased that his comments had been noticed.
“Good,” he said. “I think someone needed to say something about what was going on, because it felt like we were just taking it the whole time. I mean, we need some bounces too, you know? If you look at the way the calls have been going in Game 1 and 2, I mean, they want to play 4-on-4; we don’t. They’ve been getting 4-on-4 calls. We want to draw them into penalties, and one ref’s calling a penalty and the other ref’s giving a 4-on-4. We need some breaks, too.”