PITTSBURGH -- George McPhee knows and respects CBC's Hockey Night In Canada and its leading role in broadcasting the sport.
But the Washington Capitals general manager said yesterday that the CBC crew no longer will be welcome inside his team's locker room prior to games.
McPhee and Caps coach Bruce Boudreau were incensed that the Canadian broadcaster aired footage of the coaching staff's six keys to victory for Wednesday's Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinal against the Pens.
The Caps brass was almost as steamed at CBC as it was with what it felt was one-sided officiating in the 3-2 overtime loss that allowed the Penguins to cut Washington's series lead to 2-1.
Though none of the points written on a dressing room white board detailed in-depth strategy, the Caps are furious that CBC broke what they believe was an implied trust.
"They, of all people, should know better," McPhee said yesterday at the team's downtown hotel where the Caps were given the day off in preparation for tonight's fourth game in the best-of-seven series here at Mellon Arena. "They shouldn't have done it. They've been talked to."
Making matters worse, in the Caps' opinion, was that CBC froze the shot and had studio analysts Mike Milbury and Kelly Hrudey break down the "keys" point by point.
Boudreau also chimed in, calling the CBC act "classless" and "unprofessional" and expressed surprise that the network would show the material.
"They overstepped their bounds," Caps spokesman Nate Ewell said. "They basically game-planned for the Penguins. It was ridiculous."
HNIC's executive producer, Sherali Najak, acknowledged that the shots never should have made it to air, but that there was no "malicious intent" by the broadcaster. The board appeared behind Caps star Alex Ovechkin in footage shot by a CBC cameraman. U.S. network Versus had access to the feed and also aired it.
"I can understand (the Caps) being upset about it. We don't own the room," Najak said yesterday from Toronto. "We shouldn't have put it on air. It was a mistake and we'll move on."
As for the officials, McPhee and Boudreau are exasperated at what they felt was a one-sided display on Wednesday. At one point, the Penguins had six consecutive power plays, a big reason Pittsburgh controlled much of the play through the second and third periods.
"One team gets seven power plays and the other team gets two, it's hard to win," McPhee said. "The supervisor in this series is as good as they come -- Terry Gregson is terrific. But if the referees aren't going to listen to them, what good is it?
"Some penalties you deserve, and some shouldn't be called in an NHL playoff game. This hasn't been our style to whine about this, but at some point you have to say something."