Live in-game television interviews with coaches are not often passionate or critical during the NHL playoffs.
But Carolina Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour was both Saturday when NBC’s Pierre McGuire asked for his take on his player Micheal Ferland being given a match penalty for a head hit against the Washington Capitals’ Nic Dowd.
The incident came in the second period of Game 2 of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal.
“I don’t see it as a hit to the head,” Brind’Amour said. “If four (officials) are going to get together, someone should at least see it that way.”
Replays seem to show that Dowd’s head was not the initial point of contact. Brind’Amour was incensed on the bench after the officials conferred and gave Ferland the match penalty.
“I think we just let them play,” Brind’Amour said. “That’s what I would like to see.”
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The Capitals had a 2-1 lead when the five-minute major was called, and the ‘Canes killed off the penalty. The controversial call seemed to fire them up because they tied the game later in the period.
The Capitals won in overtime on Brooks Orpik’s goal at 1:48 to take a 2-0 series lead.
It seems probable that Ferland’s match penalty will be rescinded Sunday.
But the Hurricanes could still end up with one player suspended. Carolina defenseman Dougie Hamilton was penalized for elbowing Evgeni Kuznetsov, and that hit should attract the attention of the Department of Player Safety.