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Vigneault: ‘Standards have been set’ after Ovechkin, Backstrom hits

New York Rangers v Toronto Maple Leafs

New York Rangers v Toronto Maple Leafs

NHLI via Getty Images

Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault had a creative -- dare we say passive-aggressive -- take on last night’s controversial finish in Game 1 against the Caps, saying officials set the standard on hits from behind by not calling penalties on Niklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin, and that the Rangers have to meet that standard.

Vigneault (1/2): “The standards have been set for what’s allowed as far as hitting from behind. Ovechkin on Hickey, last night on Boyle...

— Brett Cyrgalis (@BrettCyrgalis) May 1, 2015

Vigneault (2/2): "... We know what the [officiating] standards are, play up to those standards.” #NYR — Brett Cyrgalis (@BrettCyrgalis) May 1, 2015

Here are the hits Vigneault’s referring to:

The latter, of course, has been the source of great controversy as it led to Joel Ward’s last-second winner on Thursday night. Backstrom put a pretty good lick on Dan Boyle but no penalty was called, much to the Rangers’ chagrin.

Boyle said on the last play he was trying to freeze the puck. “Once he hit my head there’s not much else I can do,” Boyle said. — Dan Rosen (@drosennhl) May 1, 2015

But for all the gamesmanship out of New York, the Caps weren’t just going to sit around and stay mum on the issue.

"(Fans) in front didn’t flinch,” Caps head coach Barry Trotz said, referring to ticketholders near the glass where the Boyle hit occurred. “Usually if it’s a questionable hit everybody jumps up and puts their hands up.”