SUN Hockey Pool

Coach asks Sutter to make it official

STEVE MACFARLANE, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 6:50 AM ET

Steaming after Game 2, Calgary Flames coach Mike Keenan wouldn't address his problem with the officiating during a disappointing shutout loss in San Jose.

It was something he was prepared to take to the league.

Six straight penalties in the second period proved costly to his Flames, who killed nearly all of them before the Sharks managed to score and make it 2-0 with nine seconds remaining in an infraction.

Yesterday in Calgary, though, Iron Mike was much more mellow as he discussed the situation.

"No, I didn't. I passed the assignment onto Mr. Sutter," grinned Keenan, when asked if he'd made contact with the league to voice his concerns.

"We had a discussion today and I said, 'It would be better if you would speak to them.' He's the manager and I said, 'You've got a lot more free time than I do right now.' "

The problem, said Keenan, wasn't necessarily the number of calls against his club, but the balance and the timing.

"The issues were the balance of calls and the fact we had six consecutive," he said. "The first game we had five penalties called for two teams.

"The first period last night, I thought it's the best playoff period I've seen in the playoffs this year so far. The intensity at ice level, great goaltending, chances for both teams, the players were managing themselves. To watch it from a coaching perspective, I was enjoying watching it.

"And then to have the game completely thrown off in the second period ... All you're looking for is consistency for both sides. I can't say that one team didn't commit any fouls compared to the other."

Drawing laughter from the crowd of reporters, and letting a chuckle or two go himself, it was a far different mood than the one at the HP Pavilion the previous night.

During the second-period meltdown, Keenan was boiling. The Flames coach could be seen mouthing R-rated words at the men in stripes, and got into a heated discussion by the bench shortly after Owen Nolan was upended by defenceman Matt Carle as he raced in on a shorthanded breakaway.

A diving Carle knocked the puck away with his stick before toppling the Flames forward -- which is what got Keenan riled.

"The player hit the puck first, but he also grabbed him by the skate," said Keenan.

"The bone of contention is that he got his hand on the foot. He reached out."

Leaping onto his bench, gesturing and yelling at the refs following the non-call, Keenan drew the officials' wrath as a result.

"Sometimes it's very intense. They questioned why I stood up," recalled Keenan.

"I stood up because our entire team stood up. I don't think there's a rule that a coach can't stand on the bench, and I said I couldn't see so I stood up to look overtop of them to see what the call would be."

There was no call coming.

And Keenan exploded.

"I think emotion is part of the game," he joked at the Saddledome.

"It's not fit for flatliners."\


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