Hofford fires off to start word war

SCOTT FISHER -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:12 AM ET

Lindsay Hofford wasted no time in trying to get a leg up on the Hitmen.

Minutes after the Calgary-Lethbridge series was set in stone, the Hurricanes head coach offered his thoughts on what it would take to beat the Hitmen.

"Goaltending and refereeing are the two biggest factors in playoff hockey," Hofford said. "I hate to say that but they are the two things that can be the determining factors and that's just the way it is."

Few question the 'tender is a team's most important player in the post-season but Hofford may have had an ulterior motive when he included officiating as a major factor.

Knowing the Hitmen will be playing a physical game in an attempt to slow his speedy forwards, Hofford's comments could be interpreted as a calculated way to get the zebras' attention.

Calgary sniper Ryan Getzlaf refused to offer his thoughts.

"I don't know what that comment is supposed to mean," Getzlaf said. "It's tough to comment on the refs.

"They're out there trying to do their job and we just have to play our game."

But Getzlaf agreed his team is going to bring the pain when the series kicks off tomorrow night in Lethbridge.

"That's how the playoffs work," he said. "Especially against a team like that. They've got a lot of skill up front and you have to take the body, otherwise they'll make you look silly."

Defenceman Dylan Yeo said the officials aren't going to impact how he and his teammates play.

"It's up to the refs, they can call what they want to call," Yeo said. "And if they make a bad call, we have to deal with it and kill the penalty."


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