Peter Schaefer could be in hot water with the NHL for waving the white towel Wednesday in Washington.
While the Senators winger enjoyed yesterday off with the rest of his teammates, officials at the NHL's office in Toronto no doubt took a second look at Schaefer's move with furrowed brows.
Though Schaefer won't be suspended for tomorrow's visit by the New York Rangers, to Scotiabank Place, he will likely get a slap on the wrist and $1,000 fine. Coach Bryan Murray can expect a phone call from NHL VP Colin Campbell if there hasn't been one already.
Frustrated with the officiating during the Sens' 6-2 loss to the Caps, Schaefer placed a towel on the end of his stick and waved it after Dean McAmmond was sent to the penalty box in the third period for unsportsmanlike conduct.
Schaefer wasn't penalized by Kevin Pollock or Justin St. Pierre, but it was shown on TSN's broadcast of the game. NHL officials believe Schaefer challenged the referees' authority and the towel waving was embarrassing.
"I just think it hurts the integrity of the game," NHL director of officiating Stephen Walkom said yesterday. "I know (Schaefer) was doing it in a humorous way and he was just frustrated. If our guys had seen it ... then he would have been given a penalty because I don't think he was waving the white towel at the Washington bench."
The Senators were upset because they believed a goal by Washington's Matt Bradley in the first period shouldn't have counted because Alexander Ovechkin was offside before Antoine Vermette gave the puck away.
Murray also complained that Anton Volchenkov beat the Caps on what should have been an icing play before Chris Clark scored his second goal of the night to give the Caps a 3-1 lead in the second.
"I think we just got frustrated with the whole situation," said Senators defenceman Chris Phillips. "You start getting a lot of penalties, you don't like the calls and you get frustrated with the whole situation. Then it all starts to snowball on you. I believe that's what happens with us."
There have been complaints from players around the NHL that the standard of officiating has changed since league GMs met last month in Toronto.
"You so much as touch a guy with a stick right now and you're getting a penalty," said an Ottawa player late Tuesday night.
Walkom said the referees are just trying to uphold the standard. He believes the Senators were simply frustrated because of the score and the situation.
"We try to keep the standard every night. Are we going to miss some calls? Yes. But, I'm comfortable with the way the guys are doing their jobs," said Walkom.
Phillips isn't convinced the standard has changed.
"It's hard to say that because I believe it changes depending on who is (officiating) the game," he said.