Back in Round 1, Kevin Bieksa of the Vancouver Canucks took a moment to suggest that the San Jose Sharks occasionally dabbled in embellishment. It was a fairly transparent bit of gamesmanship, and even moreso after he gave a second performance of the monologue, this time with props.
It didn't work, either. Thereafter, the Canucks won zero games.
But that didn't discourage San Jose Sharks' winger T.J. Galiardi from trying out the tactic himself. On Thursday, Galiardi had a few words to say about LA Kings' goaltender Jonathan Quick.
He's Quick on the ice and quick to the ice, if you catch my meaning. From the Mercury News:
"What kind of bugs me about him, I don't know if I should say it, but a little embellishment every now and then," Galiardi said before the team left for Los Angeles for Game 5 on Thursday at Staples Center. "You skate by and you don't even touch him or you barely even touch him and he's throwing his hands in the air. So that's one of those things.
Galiardi is speaking, as you'd expect, from experience. He was sent to the box for goaltender interference in the second period of Game 4, and he was almost sent again for the same infraction before he could even get back to the bench. After the Sharks killed off his penalty, he chased Slava Voynov into the LA end on the San Jose's final zone clear, and as he skated by the goal, he clipped Quick's skate.
The goaltender dropped.
But, just like on the ice, the Kings stand up for their goaltender. It was Drew Doughty who rushed to Quick's defense this time around, and he took about the same approach to dismissing Galiardi's observations that the Sharks took in dismissing Kevin Bieksa's: no, you are.
“It’s not even playoff talk,” Doughty told The Times after Thursday’s morning skate before Game 5. “It’s just funny to even hear that from a guy who is the biggest diver on their team. Like it’s just ridiculous he can even say that, to be honest.
“But I don’t want to get involved in that stuff. I don’t think you have to watch many (Sharks’ games). You can just watch three of his shifts and you’ll see how many times he dives. There’s been times where even the refs are telling him, just get up, because he’s diving so often.”
I have to take issue with Doughty's counterpoint. It's not even playoff talk? Really? Because it seems to me that complaining about your opponent's embellishment is pretty much a staple of playoff talk at this point.
Heck, even Galiardi knows that much. "It's the playoffs," he said, immediately after taking his shot at Quick, "Everyone's trying to draw a penalty. Whatever."
Yeah, pretty much.
It's the playoffs. That glorious time of year when the officials let the players play by swallowing their whistles, and the players, finding it easier to score big goals when their opponent can ice fewer guys, try to sell every hook, grab and hold in the hopes of coaxing the whistles back up the esophagi of said officials.
Then, of course, if one of your opponents is proving to be really good at it, you draw attention to it in the hopes of swaying the officials. In this way, it's exactly like diving.
And thus concludes another episode of Diving Divers and the Dives they Did. Game 5 goes Thursday night.