After he complimented the Los Angeles Kings for their play in the Western Conference final and talked about how too many of his players haven't been able to reach the next level of play in a series they now trail 3-0, Phoenix coach Dave Tippett was asked about the officiating in Thursday's 2-1 loss.
"If I told you what I really thought, I think it would cost me a lot of money," Tippett said.
After watching Kings flop all over the ice in the third period -- Trevor Lewis drew a penalty with some antics just before Dwight King scored the go-ahead goal and Kings captain Dustin Brown continue his thespian antics to end an exchange with Oliver-Ekman Larsson with less than seven minutes left -- Tippett couched his comments as an overall indictment of floppers everywhere.
The Coyotes were called for five penalties in the decisive period, and Tippett felt four of them fell into the questionable category -- and were helped along by play-acting.
"The game is turning a little dishonest and it's embellishment by players," Tippett said. "When it's done well, it's very hard for the referees, very hard, because if you fall down near the boards or you drop your stick or you throw your head back, you're putting the referee in a very tough situation. Not just our game tonight; you see it all through."
It's not the reason the Coyotes are down 3-0 in the series. The Kings are 11-1 in the playoffs and can sweep Phoenix at home on Sunday. Phoenix has been unable to put any type of consistent pressure on Kings goalie Jonathan Quick, and he has handled the few good chances easily. But for a team that relies on hard work to produce results, the parade to the penalty box was tough to take.
"What it does, it makes the game dishonest. In actual fact, to make it work to your favor, you've got to do it more. You've got to do it. And if everybody else is doing it, you'd better do it, too. We saw more than one penalty out there for us and against us that were called that I thought were plays where there was embellishment. It's too bad it has to go that way. It's too bad you get to this point in the season that becomes a factor, but it's the reality of our game right now."