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Ducks GM Bob Murray: “We have to start diving”

Apr 18, 2011, 7:11 PM EDT

Bob Murray AP

Finding a way to get an edge in the playoffs can be tricky. Finding ways to take heat off your team after a tough loss or if they’re struggling in the series can get really creative. While Caps coach Bruce Boudreau decided to go after Madison Square Garden earlier today to get some of the heat off the Caps, Anaheim Ducks GM Bob Murray found a more direct way to vent his thoughts and take the heat off his team.

With the Ducks are down 2-1 in their series with Nashville and Murray feels that the Predators are getting a bit too much of the benefit of the calls and he’s got a fascinating solution for his team. Rather than have coach Randy Carlyle work more on the team’s penalty kill, he’s saying that the Ducks should be diving more to get the calls. After a pair of calls in Game 3 that went against the Ducks thanks to a high stick by Brad Winchester on Jerred Smithson and a hooking call on Saku Koivu against Jonathon Blum, Murray’s had enough.

Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register gets the word from Murray about how the Ducks should be taking more nods from Hollywood in how to win games.

“It’s become a tactic,” he told the Register, speaking at the team’s hotel. ”I’ve watched enough. First things first. We have to have less passengers. We have too many passengers right now. But when you’re playing a game and [there’s] a constant stream to the penalty box because these guys are diving left and right … we have to start diving.

“I’d never thought I’d say this to my hockey team. We’ve got to start diving because it’s working. It is working. They’re getting power plays because of the diving. I can go through the list of players. You already know who they are. You’ve seen them. It’s ridiculous.”

Well this is a curious tactic, especially coming from the GM of one of the league’s most penalized teams. Anaheim was the fifth most penalized team in the NHL this season and it’s a designation they’ve held for the last few seasons. Last year they were third most and two seasons ago they were the second most penalized team in the league.

That’s not to say that the calls Murray is taking umbrage with aren’t worthy of scrutiny, it’s just that he has to be careful when filing his complaints because the Ducks certainly do enough on the ice to warrant action. Seeing a coach lobby for more calls to be made against the opponent is nothing new, just that saying your team has to do more objectionable stuff to get the calls you want is a curious way to go about it.

We’ll find out how well this campaign for and against embellishment goes soon enough as Game 4 between these two comes up on Wednesday night. The less calls that are made might not be too helpful for Anaheim as their power play has done well against Nashville. Turning things into a slugfest might not work out too well for them either.

  1. rjmanpuck - Apr 18, 2011 at 8:59 PM

    Murray’s comment is pretty standard playoff-type behavior from GMs trying to get an edge. It’s a close series, he might have a point if the series was 3-0 at this point but its 2-1 and it’s a 4/5 match-up. I think the refs in hockey have done a good job not biting on dives, especially after the whistle when there’s pushing and shoving. They rarely just take 1 in the scrums unless a player does something egregious after the whistle. Diving has no place in hockey–it’s what separates the sport from basketball and soccer where diving has literally become part of the game. I commend the NHL for making diving “lists” and fines to protect the traditional competitive spirit of the sport. Refs shouldn’t hold back on making diving calls, its embarrassing for players to receive one and it also sets the tone for the rest of the game or even the series. I know Murray just wants to bring the diving issue to the forefront for the NHL and its officials, but it’s a bad reflection of our sport when he advocates for diving. Luckily he’s not the coach and stays up in the box most of the time. I can’t see Carlyle making a statement like this.

  2. icu84bs - Apr 19, 2011 at 2:36 AM

    Some are born whiners, others winners. Murray belongs to the first group.

  3. stakex - Apr 19, 2011 at 2:56 AM

    I know this is just the usual playoffs BSing from the coach… but hes not all wrong. Diving as a whole has become a huge thing in the NHL, especially with the league hungry to make all the calls it possibly can.

    If the NHL cared about integrity, it would start punishing divers instead of rewarding them (as well as punishing refs for “make up calls”, or “make it intresting” calls to try and even up games… but thats another topic). Instead Bettman is perfectly happy to let the refing in the NHL turn into an out right joke in a near pointless effort to increase scoring.

    • rjmanpuck - Apr 19, 2011 at 8:23 PM

      The league is “hungry” to make calls because they are rewarding players with speed and skill. I don’t see how you can say the NHL is “rewarding divers?” Refs don’t get the call right every time( in any sport), but the switch to the 4-man ref system and stiffer penalties/fines for divers seems progressive to me in terms of curbing diving.

  4. gnazarov - Apr 19, 2011 at 3:55 PM

    I don’t think Mr. Murray should be saying this at all, his frustration obviously got the best of him and his comments didn’t come off extremely well. However, in his defense, the reffing in this Ducks-Preds series has just been God awful. And diving in the NHL has become an epidemic of recent years. It’s disgusting. So there is some truth to what he’s saying.

  5. prov1x - Apr 19, 2011 at 9:51 PM

    He obviously isn’t watching the same series I am. Ducks are incredibly dirty. The stuff going on behind the play is unreal. Perry and Getzlaf are playing the punk roles pretty good. And what they are doing to Hornqvist would get people arrested off the ice. I’m guessing the Preds are in their heads. Playoff hockey…..head games are part of it. Wednesday night’s game should be something to watch.

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