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Kings not focused on officiating

by Curtis Zupke
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. – Perhaps it was steam blown off by a frustrated coach. Maybe Dave Tippett was trying to deflect attention from the three games to none series deficit his Phoenix Coyotes team is facing in the Western Conference Finals.

Whatever the case, the Los Angeles Kings aren't taking the bait.

Tippett after Game 3 on Thursday criticized the officiating during the Stanley Cup Playoffs for a perceived failure to monitor "embellishment by players." It was meant to be a general statement about the postseason, but the Kings were naturally implicated.

Rob Scuderi
Defense - LAK
GOALS: 0 | ASST: 1 | PTS: 1
SOG: 7 | +/-: 8
"It's up to the ref's discretion," Rob Scuderi said. "In my opinion I think they've done a good job. But it's not a shock that we've had more power plays than they have. I think the refs have called the game. You can't call the score. They've called the game and I think they've done a good job so far."

Scuderi didn't take Tippett's comments as an accusation. The one diving penalty that has been called in the series was on Kings captain Dustin Brown, who appeared to be genuinely writhing in pain when goaltender Mike Smith slashed him in Game 2.

"Whoever has more power plays that game is going to be more happy, and whoever has less, is going to think the other team embellished or what have you," Scuderi said. "We've been on the other end of it at times and felt that we were shortchanged and apparently in this series it's the other way around."

Said Mike Richards, "They have the best of the best here, too. They know what's embellishment and what's not and I felt they called a pretty good game."

Coach Darryl Sutter didn't have much to say on Tippett's remarks but he did indicate that embellishment has been a topic. Vancouver Sun columnist Cam Cole was standing nearby and Sutter playfully invoked his name to describe what has been happening - or not happening.

"In the three series, we've usually talked about it," Sutter said. "I think we've seen a little bit of it in the Vancouver series and hardly at all in the St. Louis series … Quite honestly, the supervisors and or referees will come over and say ‘Tell Cam Cole next time to not dive.' I haven't heard it yet this series."
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