Chicago Wolves coach Warsofsky calls officiating 'an absolute joke' after Game 2 victory
Controversial calls by officials are nothing new -- especially in the NHL and AHL where the line between what is and what is not a penalty is often quite hazy.
Normally, a coach will bite his tongue during the postgame Q&A for fear of getting fined.
But that's not what happened after the Chicago Wolves' 6-2 win over Springfield in Game 2 of the Calder Cup Finals at Allstate Arena on Monday.
A fired-up Ryan Warsofsky unloaded on the referees after he was asked for his thoughts on the Thunderbirds' 2 second-period goals that made it 5-2. The first goal came moments after Andrew Poturalski was given an extra roughing penalty, which put Springfield on a two-man advantage.
"I'm in there preaching: 'Stay disciplined. Stay out of the nonsense,' " said Warsofsky, who was in fact fined an undisclosed amount by the league. "And our guys are doing a pretty damn good job of that. We're up 5-nothing and I want you guys to watch it -- and you guys tell me what you see to (put) us on a 5-on-3.
"It's absolutely ridiculous and I'm at a loss for words -- I really am."
The play in question occurred with 6:43 remaining in the second period after a save was made by Springfield's goalie. A second later, Springfield captain Tommy Cross shoved Wolves forward Josh Jacobs behind the net. Poturalski then comes in, runs into Cross and gives him two small jabs in the back. Poturalski gets put in a brief headlock by Klim Kostin, and order is restored shortly thereafter.
There have been an abundance of similar sequences during the first two games of this series, but in this case officials called roughing penalties on Cross, Jacobs and Poturalski. Kostin somehow avoided an infraction, so Springfield ended up on a 5-on-3.
The Thunderbirds cashed in 37 seconds later to get within 5-1.
"It's a joke really. It's an absolute joke," Warsofsky said. "I'm shocked because it's disappointing that we don't get officiating in this type of game better than that."
Fifteen months ago the NHL removed Tim Peel as an official after he was caught on a hot mic talking about how he wanted to "get a (expletive) penalty against Nashville." Warsofsky didn't hold back when asked if he believes referees call makeup penalties or hand them out in blowouts to try and make games more interesting.
"I 100% think there's something going on there," said Warskofsky, whose team evened the series at 1-1 with the victory. "I mean it's 5-nothing. There's nothing going on, we're controlling the whole game. We know what (the Thunderbirds are) trying to do. They're a heavy team, they're trying to put us off our game.
"Respect it, but I just think that there have been some things that have gone on in these playoffs (that) I'm at a loss for words. ...
"And this is these guys' life. This is their life. They work out every day of the summer, they get in shape, they get in condition to play for this moment right now.
"They deserve better officiating. It's that simple."
Game 3 of the best-of-seven series is at Springfield on Wednesday.