For more than four months Capitals coach Dale Hunter has gone out of his way to say as little as possible about well, about everything.
But now that his team is trailing the Bruins two games to one in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, Hunter suddenly has the gift of the gab.
One day after accusing the Bruins of crossing the line by intentionally targeting the head of star center Nicklas Backstrom, Hunter pointed a finger at the linesman who missed an offsides call on the play preceding on Zdeno Charas game-winning goal in Mondays 4-3 loss in Game 3.
With 2:12 remaining in regulation and the score tied at 3-3, Bruins forward Chris Kelly appeared to enter the offensive zone ahead of puck carrier Patrice Bergeron, constituting an offside. Its unclear in the video replay whether the linesman on the play is Brian Murphy and Tony Sericolo.
Nineteen seconds later, with 1:53 remaining in regulation, Charas point shot found its way past rookie goalie Braden Holtby for the game-winner.
It was definitely offside, Hunter said. It was a bad call. It should have been called. Its important to get the calls right. Every little decision on the ice is important.
Hunter didnt stop there, of course. He noted the Bruins penchant for antics before and after whistles in the first three games of the series, something he was known for during his playing days.
After the whistles, before the puck was dropped they were doing stuff off the draw, like Milan Lucic trying to go after Nicky Backstroms head. We just have to play through it and let the referees do their job and protect the players on the ice.
Asked if players have lost the right to protect themselves, Hunter again turned up the heat on the officials.
The rules have changed and you have to adapt to the rule changes, Hunter said. If stuffs not called properly it gets chippier and theres more frustration from both teams. And they do miss stuff. Like the other night, the winning goal was offside.
Just in case you missed it the first time.