It's a time-honored tradition for a coach to engage in gamesmanship by working the officials between games of a playoff series. Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau did just that yesterday after his team fled New York following Sunday afternoon's Game 3, 3-2 defeat at the Garden to have a couple of days of practice back home before returning to Manhattan for Game 4 tomorrow night.

But the coach's charges that the Rangers are headhunting the previously concussed Mike Green are baseless and shrill, no matter the tenor of his voice. His attempt at comparing Marc Staal's check on the defenseman at the 19-minute mark of the second period to the run Raffi Torres took at Brent Seabrook in Chicago on Sunday not only is a charge, it trivializes the serious issue of head-shots.

Boudreau lobbied for the league to review the play on which Staal took out Green in the slot as Alex Ovechkin was scoring to tie the game. The Rangers' alternate captain, punished relentlessly during the first two games in DC, could have been called for interference after catching the Caps' defenseman as he seemed to be stumbling, but nothing more.

"It was to the side of the head and a dirty shot [and] I hope the league looks at it," said Boudreau, who earlier in the day decided he needed to denigrate the Garden. "It wasn't the only time they targeted Mike's head . . . and they targeted it a few times."

The NHL did not believe the check was worthy of any type of official review proceeding, though citing the league's position on head-shots as supporting evidence regarding an individual play is often a fool's errand, as we all were reminded yesterday when Torres escaped scot-free.