Darryl Sutter continues criticism towards series officiating

(Photo by Don Smith/NHLI via Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES – Los Angeles Kings coach Darryl Sutter continued to be critical of the officiating in his team’s series against the San Jose Sharks.

For the second straight day, Sutter brought up situations where he believed officials weren’t fair in how they called Game 4, specifically in the third period.

The Kings are down 3-1 to the Sharks, and San Jose’s power play has been a major reason why they’re on the verge of advancing to the second-round of the playoffs with a win at Staples Center on Friday.

In Game 4, the Sharks were 3-for-4 on the power play and beat the Kings 3-2. The Sharks have converted 27.8 percent of their power play chances.

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“I know it’s a big deal because they scored three goals in the last game, but quite honest, they missed calls in the third period,” Sutter said. That was my complaint.”

Sutter said that he stays in contact with the officiating series supervisor on gamedays to discuss how games have been called.

“He’s not out there. Hasn’t been a problem,” Sutter said.

Sutter added that the more experienced referees have a better understanding of the game, and he can help younger refs get a sense of officiating in a postseason game.

“I think they go by the book, but I think just like players, there’s a great feel for the game that comes into it, always. We all know in the past there’s only a handful of referees, and now you’re seeing a lot more (who are) younger,” Sutter said. “More games, you need more officials. They’re learning, also. It’s like putting young players in your lineup. Hey, I think part of the job as a senior coach is to help those guys.”

This echoes some of Sutter’s comments from a Thursday practice.

“I know the theme today is ‘San Jose’s power play.’ I’d say the game for me is ‘how come we didn’t have more?’ We have a good power play, too. There’s missed calls in the third period,” Sutter said. “When it’s 3-2, there should’ve been some calls, clearly. There’s two hooking, tripping penalties. They’ve got to call ‘em. I mean, if they’re going to call what they did call – that’s why you ask. It’s even.”

The Kings have been given 19 minor penalties, which is ninth-most in the postseason so far. LA has averaged 9.50 penalty minutes per-game, which ranks 11th out of 16 playoff teams.

The Sharks have averaged 7.00 penalty minutes per-game, fewest in the playoffs. San Jose has taken 14 minor penalties, which ranks 14th amongst this year's playoff teams.

Chris Rooney and Francois St. Laurent are slated to officiate Game 5. Both have yet to take part in the series.

“I don’t think it’s a special teams heavy series. I think some of the games have been decided because of special teams, but because you went 3-for-4 on the power play that’s not a special teams series,” Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said. “I think the reffing has been fine. The standard has been good in my mind. The fact that a couple of the games have been decided by special teams doesn’t make it a special teams series.”

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Josh Cooper is an editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!