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Capitals’ Mike Ribeiro Called For Misconduct After High-Sticking Plays


WASHINGTON – Mike Ribeiro was whistled for unsportsmanlike conduct and earned a 10-minute misconduct penalty late in the Washington Capitals’ 4-2 loss to Winnipeg on Tuesday after he objected to what he perceived was a pair of non-calls for high-sticking.

Ribeiro initially took issue with the Jets’ Olli Jokinen during a faceoff with 4:54 left in the first period, with Jokinen entering the faceoff circle and raising the blade of his stick within inches of Ribeiro’s face. He then objected to Jokinen’s stick placement again during a faceoff with 11:11 remaining in the third period.

He expressed his frustrations to an official late in the first period, then did so again in the third, adding that the language he used was “stuff that my kids won’t like too much.” His third-period protest, with 1:16 remaining, led to the penalties.

“I get high-sticked and I go see him between the whistle, [and] I’m like, ‘What’s your take on the high stick on the draw? The puck’s not even dropped,’” Ribeiro said. “He’s like, ‘Well, I don’t want to talk to you.’ So I’m trying to figure it out. I kind of stopped, looked around like, ‘No one called it?’ I was like, ‘OK, are you just allowed high-stick people before the puck’s dropped?’

“So I went to ask him, he didn’t answer me and that just got me frustrated a bit to not have an answer. Just tell me. I don’t know, I guess he didn’t know what to do. So the second time I got high-sticked close to my throat again, I looked around and he’s staring at me. I’m like, ‘Why are you not calling this one?’ Well, I guess he wasn’t happy about that.”

The center said a cut on his right cheek, which required five stitches during the first intermission, happened when Jokinen hit him with the stick during that first faceoff.

Acquired from Dallas in a trade during the offseason, Ribeiro took a stick to the throat during a game in 2010 that required a tracheotomy and led to him missing a month.

Head coach Adam Oates declined to elaborate on the situation because he hadn’t yet spoken to Ribeiro about it, but believed Ribeiro was hit with the stick both times.

Ribeiro could not identify which official he disagreed with when asked. Similarly, he was called for high-sticking Saturday against Tampa Bay when his stick hit Vincent Lecavalier during a faceoff.

“If I’m too low [during the faceoff] – there’s no rule saying you’re not allowed to be lower than four feet, or whatever it is,” Ribeiro said. “There’s a rule that says if you get high-sticked to the face, that should be a penalty. I was just confused.

“I just want to talk to you. I just want to know like – I guess he didn’t have an answer for it. He just pushed it aside and pretty much made up his mind the rest of the game.”


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