The Capitals won 46 of 66 faceoffs (70 percent) in their Game 1 loss to the Rangers and Rangers coach John Tortorella today questioned the validity of some of those draw wins.
"We were terrible," Tortorella said. "They're a good faceoff team with (Sergei) Federov (14 of 20) and (Nicklas) Backstrom (13 of 18). My biggest concer is, I just want to make sure the faceoffs are legal. The tape I watched, I just hope the faceoffs are legal. The tying up and kicking can't be done until the puck hits the ice and a number of them I don't think were. That's something we have a concern of."
Toward that end, the four Rangers centers - Scott Gomez, Chris Drury, Brandon Dubinsky and Blair Betts - worked with Tortorella and assistant Jerry Dineen (actually the team's video coach but an occasional on-ice presence as well under Tortorella) on faceoff technique. Gomez, in particular, was demonstrating a move in which he blocked the opposing center with his shoulder, shifting his left leg into the dot and pulling back on the puck.
"We've got to be better," Dubinsky said. "We know that and I'll leave it at that."
Tortorella, no doubt, has let the Rangers know of his displeasure with the faceoff officiating. This could be an actual gripe, coaching gamesmanship, or a combination of the two.