Underdogs making own calls

RANDY SPORTAK -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 1:38 PM ET


 No doubt, Darryl Sutter's words about officiating made noise.

 However, his Flames believe their on-ice actions had more impact.

 For a few days, and even the morning of his team's Game 3 victory, Sutter openly questioned whether the Red Wings were benefactors of a two-tiered system.

 His reasoning was Detroit's collection of Hall-of-Famers were getting the benefit of the doubt as opposed to his younger, less experienced side.

 Seeing as the Flames enjoyed twice as many powerplays on Tuesday, it's easy to think Sutter's lobbying paid dividends.

 Not true, opined Jarome Iginla.

 "In the first two games, we were taking more penalties," said the Flames captain. "We were in the box and didn't draw very many but if you look at the games, they were skating better, we weren't moving very well and that's the result.

 "Our first period (last game) we were skating a lot better and that's when you draw penalties. It was a result of that."

 Likely so, but Detroit head coach Dave Lewis took his opportunity after the last game to question the validity of those calls.

 An effort to sway the zebras his way?

 Probably, but even his charges don't think it'll make a difference.

 "I can't believe that would happen," said Darren McCarty. "It's all perspective and the bottom line is the guys who are refereeing, their perspective overrides everybody else's. You always disagree, it's nothing new."

 Still, history has proven the effectiveness of airing officiating beefs through the media.

 See if Lewis' complaints -- he claimed the Flames were regularly grabbing his players' sticks -- bear much fruit in tonight's clash.

 "I'm not really that concerned," Iginla said. "It's been going on for a long time and that's what teams do to try and get a call. I think the referees are veteran enough and (have) seen all this, so they'll call it the way they see it, not influenced."

 Besides, Flames assistant Jim Playfair said, if the Flames rely on their speed to initiate play, it won't be a problem.

 "Look at our team play (Tuesday) night and it was exciting to watch how much speed and energy we had. We were a team winning foot races and battles for loose pucks. When you're doing that, your stick is on the ice, your feet are moving and you're in one direction.

 "That lends itself to not having to hook and hold and being second in the battle."


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