Originally created 04/22/02

Islanders GM: "We're getting jobbed."



UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- New York Islanders general manager Mike Milbury blamed his team for the first loss. He blamed the officials for the second one.

"I have serious questions about the judgment used," Milbury said. "We're getting jobbed."

The Islanders are down 2-0 in their first-round playoff series against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Game 3 is Tuesday night at Nassau Coliseum.

Milbury, usually media-shy, beckoned over a small group of reporters at the Coliseum on Sunday and launched into a point-by-point critique of the officiating in Saturday's Game 2, using a VCR to prove his point.

To his credit, he didn't only lament non-call infractions by the Maple Leafs - he noted a few penalties that New York escaped, too.

Peppering his speech with profanities, Milbury provided harsh commentary as he played, rewound and replayed clips to a stunned audience of about eight people.

"We've got rules," he said. "You've got to call them the way it's been written ... after we work so hard to try to craft them. They're there for a reason."

Milbury showed incidents of Toronto players jamming their sticks between the legs of Islanders players, and various diving, holding, tripping and interference non-calls.

"It's a joke, a joke," he said.

"Can it be any more clear?" he asked after one particular sequence. "I think I've made my point."

The Islanders did not practice Sunday, one day after dropping their second straight game to the Maple Leafs. Toronto won Game 1, 3-1, and Game 2, 2-0. The final goal of each game was an empty-netter by the Maple Leafs.

"It's take-care-of-the-body day," said defenseman Kenny Jonsson, who stopped by the arena for a massage and treatment. He added he didn't feel pressure heading into Tuesday.

"Honestly, no," he said. "We played real well the second game. We just have to keep it going."

It wasn't a relaxing day for Milbury or coach Peter Laviolette, who spent the day holed up in his windowless office.

Like Milbury, Laviolette was ticked that the Islanders had to kill off six power plays and enjoyed the man advantage only three times in Game 2.

"All I can say is that what they said (would be called) isn't happening," he said, noting that New York players had to pick their helmets off the ice six times following after-the-whistle nastiness.

The Islanders, last in the league last season, are in the playoffs for the first time in eight seasons.

"We've been getting the short end of the stick, penalty-wise, for a while," Milbury said. "But now that we're a much better team, it's still happening. I don't know what it is."

As for the league promising tight, accountable officiating in the playoffs, Milbury responded: "Lip service."

Milbury seemed particularly peeved because Toronto coach and GM Pat Quinn seems to have gotten his way after complaining publicly about officiating recently.

"They're under duress," Milbury said of the officials in Toronto, on Quinn's stage. "If they don't have the courage to call it. ..."

As for his own tirade getting results, Milbury said: "It seemed to work for Pat Quinn."

After Saturday's game, Milbury approached John D'Amico, an NHL supervisor of officiating, for an explanation.

"I was told they had done a great job," Milbury said. "I said, 'I beg to differ.' ... I absolutely disagree with the judgment exercised."

Certainly, all the ill-will could be erased with a win - or, at least, a goal.

"I think when we score some goals it will give this team a boost," Laviolette said.