PITTSBURGH — The guys in striped shirts have left the Senators seeing red.
GM Bryan Murray called the NHL’s director of officiating, Terry Gregson, Tuesday to voice his displeasure after the club again went without a power play in the 2-0 loss to the Boston Bruins Monday.
Some might call Murray a whiner, but the numbers back up his claims: Of the more than 540 games this season going into Wednesday night, there were eight in which one team didn’t receive a man advantage. It’s happened to the Senators three of those times.
“I asked the question: ‘How can we have this happen to us three times already and in another game we get one power play late in the game?’ ” said Murray.
“I don’t want the story to be that I’m a complainer. That’s not the case. This is the first time I’ve called the league in two years. I’m the least complainer in the league. (Gregson) told me he gets calls at midnight or 1 a.m. from some GMs. I’ll never do that.”
But Murray said he could no longer stay quiet after the Bruins game.
“It was just obvious it wasn’t a zero-penalty game,” said Murray. “It was very obvious. I’ve got four highlights of penalties, plus a too many men. I don’t even have to try to justify it. These are just factual things that should have been called.”
Coach Cory Clouston was at a loss over why referees Marc Joanette and Justin St. Pierre awarded the Bruins three power plays to zero for the Senators.
“I know our power play hasn’t been very effective of late, but it would have been nice to at least get an opportunity. If nothing else, we hopefully would have been able to generate some momentum and some opportunities,” said Clouston. “There wouldn’t have been a lot (of power plays for Ottawa). Probably four per team.
Clouston said he doesn’t like the club being taken advantage of.
“It’s a little disrespectful to our players,” he said. “They’re working extremely hard. They’re doing what they need to do to draw penalties. They come to the bench and they’re frustrated and they don’t know why that wasn’t a call ... We just tell them to keep working hard.”
The Senators have been accused of yapping too much to officials, but Clouston said there’s no evidence of that.
There’s also a theory the officials are out to get the Senators, but captain Daniel Alfredsson shot that down.
“Even if it was, and I’m not saying there is anything against us, I wouldn’t say it,” he said. “If that is the case, and I don’t think it is, we just have to do a better job to draw more penalties.
"I can’t see the referees conspiring against us. It just doesn’t make sense.”