Mike Smith was frustrated after his Phoenix Coyotes were eliminated in Game 5 of the Western Conference final. He saw his MVP performance fall short of the Stanley Cup Final. His gaffe led to a Los Angeles Kings goal. And at one point, he had to play without a glove.
Whether or not that earns him leeway is up to you. Just keep that in mind as you read Smith torching the officiating and calling for Dustin Brown to receive a massive suspension for his OT hit on Michal Rozsival.
First, on Brown (s/t Jared Cohen), Smith said:
"When Brown gets away with something like that after the whistle — knee on knee, that's a dangerous play. If Raffi Torres gets 25 games for his hit during the play, this guy should be done forever."
Forever seems like a long time for a hit that was thigh-on-thigh. But Smith also had very harsh words for the referees — both in Game 5 and throughout the season.
The Brown hit:
"It's disappointing for a season to end like that. It stings. We gave it all we had. We battled hard all season long. It's disappointing we not only got beat by them but got beat by the officials, too.
"It's not just that play, it's all game long. They called us for three offsides in the first period and none of them were offside. [A Kings player] flipped it over the glass — how do all four refs not see that? It's not just this game, it's all season long. They did everything they could not to let us get to this position.
"I'm not taking anything away from the Kings, they deserved to be here, they played hard and they were a tough opponent. But we battled as hard as we do to get to this point, and seemed like everyone was against us. We battled through adversity through a lot of things that went on. But the officiating … if you're going to be reffing in the playoffs, it's tough [with] some of the calls that weren't made tonight."
Coyotes Captain Shane Doan was also fired up after the game:
"I don't know how you miss it. I really don't know. But I'm sure they'll have a great explanation for it. I know they try to do their best, and they're going to make mistakes. It's just tough when you're on the short end of it so many times. You watch the last three games, and you tell me where I got my penalties."
Again: It's a player that just saw his season end, and one whose competitive fire burned brightly throughout the postseason. Let's see where he stands on all of this in the next 48 hours.
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