The Washington Capitals lost their second game of the season last night and center Mike Ribeiro wasn’t just displeased with the quality of play on the ice. Ribeiro called out the officials after the game for failing to acknowledge two separate incidents of high sticking in the 4-2 loss to the Jets.
While he called out the refs after the game, Ribeiro also did so on the ice, and was ejected with 1:16 left in regulation with a game misconduct and unsportsmanlike penalty. The penalty came after Ribeiro assisted on a Troy Brouwer’s goal late in the third period and after he received the penalty, Ribeiro let referee Gord Dwyer know how he really felt as he left the ice.
But it’s his comments after the game that are getting the most attention:
“So the second time I got high-sticked close to my throat again I looked around and he’s staring at me. I’m like, ‘Why are you not calling this one?’ Well I guess he wasn’t happy about that. I guess I said stuff that my kids won’t like too much. I just feel like you’re not allowed to talk to them anymore about situations that happens in a game. They believe they’re like above us or like more power, they feel power, I don’t know. I think I need to just stay focused on my game and let them ref the way they want to ref. When you get high-sticked or [ask them for an] explanation what happened there?”
The NHL, like all professional sports in America, doesn’t take kindly to players publicly calling out referees. However, according to Katie Carrera of the Washington Post, the NHL isn’t expected to hand out any punishment to Ribeiro for his comments.
Mike Ribeiro will not be disciplined or fined for his comments about the officiating in last night’s game, according to an NHL spokesman.
— Katie Carrera (@kcarrera) January 23, 2013
Either the NHL is a lot more lenient than other sports when it comes to calling out refs, or the league office saw exactly what Ribeiro saw and are ending it at that.