LOS ANGELES - Phoenix Coyotes coach Dave Tippett held his tongue -- and probably saved some money Thursday night.
When asked what he thought about the officiating in the Coyotes' 2-1 loss to the Los Angeles Kings in Game 3 of the Western Conference final, Tippett said: ďIf I told you what I really thought, I think it would cost me a lot of money.Ē
Tippett said he was disgusted with the amount of diving in the game and will tell his players to do it as well since the embellishers have taken over.
ďPersonally, and Iíve talked about this in a lot of meetings with Don (Maloney), our general manager, that the game is turning a little dishonest and itís embellishment by players because they know when itís done well, itís very hard for the referees. Very hard. If you fall down near the boards or drop your stick or throw your head back, youíre putting the ref in a very hard situation.
ďItís not just our game tonight. You see it all through (the playoffs). The referees have a hard job and what it does is make the game dishonest. In actual fact, to make it work in your favour, you have to do it more. Youíve got to do it. If everybody else is doing it, you better do it, too.Ē
The Kings drew a penalty right off the bat when Phoenix captain Shane Doan was called for roughing L.A.ís Jarret Stoll, who grabbed his face and fell down. There was also a crosscheck by Coyotes defenceman Oliver Ekman-Larsson on Dustin Brown and a slash by Coyotes forward Radim Vrbata on Anze Kopitar.
ďWe saw more than one penalty out there for us and against us that were called were plays where there was embellishment. Itís too bad it has to go that way. Itís too bad that you get to this point in the season and that becomes a factor, but itís the reality of our game right now.Ē