Before the series began Randy Carlyle said the Oilers would be whining about faceoffs and other things. Todd McLellan responded jokingly due to the Oilers lack of success in the dot with, “I’ve been complaining about them all season.”
Today Carlyle was back at it and his comment will surely fire up Oilersnation.
Carlyle had an interesting take on Connor McDavid.
“To me it seems like there is somewhat of a white-glove treatment for Mr. McDavid. The restrictions on anybody touching him seems to be a little bit higher than normal. It’s fact. Simple. We review the tape numerous times. He does draw penalties because of his speed. But if you don’t get close to him and you’re not inside of him, you’re going to watch him or you’re going to try and impede his progress.”
This is classic Carlyle trying to get the refs to think twice. McDavid did draw the most penalties in the regular season, and in three games vs. the Ducks he has drawn four calls.
Ryan Kesler and Jakob Silfvergberg in game one, Josh Manson in game two and Corey Perry in game three. I thought the Perry call was a bit soft, as they just ran into each other, but the rest were deserved and there has been other calls
I’m sure Oilers fans would argue it is the Ducks star centre, Ryan Getzlaf, who is getting more leeway with his stick work, than McDavid is getting calls go in his favour. And I do believe the Oilers have got away with a few calls themselves.
Carlyle loves stirring the pot, and this is classic gamesmanship from him. If his comment saves his team one penalty that could be the difference in winning or losing.
I’m curious to see how McLellan responds. Historically he is calmer than Carlyle and rarely makes statements about opposing players, but I wonder if he feels now is the time to defend his captain and possibly plant a seed in the ears of referees to take an extra look at the hacking and whacking in the series.
We won’t know for sure if Carlyle’s comments impact the officials or not, but it just adds another piece to a rivalry that will be much more intense next season.
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