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Barry Trotz critical of officiating with kindness, Canucks deny diving allegations

May 5, 2011, 9:45 AM EDT

Barry Trotz, Marc Joannette AP

During these playoffs we’ve seen plenty of coaches try to work their verbal magic to get referees to make calls bend more to their team’s will. We saw both John Tortorella and Bruce Boudreau do it in the first round against each other. We saw Lindy Ruff get a bit uptight about things in dealing with the Flyers and now we’ve got a new challenger with a different approach.

Predators coach Barry Trotz is still a bit steamed over a couple of calls that went against his team in Game 3. Jerred Smithson drew a high sticking call against him after he seemingly caught Roberto Luongo in the head with his stick (it certainly didn’t look that way). Meanwhile, Shea Weber‘s hooking penalty to Ryan Kesler in overtime led to Vancouver cashing in on the power play and winning the game. In each case it was thought to be a bit embellished (Luongo’s certainly seemed that way) and Trotz isn’t too pleased with that.

Instead of raising a huge stink and lambasting the officiating, he’s trying to take them out a whole new door by killing both the referees and Canucks with kindness.

“That’s gamesmanship, and I understand that,” Trotz said Wednesday. “It’s also a little bit putting the referee in a tough spot. We have the best referees. If you’re going to make them look bad, I don’t think that’s needed in the game.”

Well that’s a new way to go at it. Nice reverse psychology there.

The Canucks, of course, are denying any and all allegations right away with Luongo’s theory appearing to be quite silly.

Luongo said the complaints are part of hockey. The goalie said there was contact with his mask, even though the stick doesn’t appear to hit Luongo’s mask on replays.

“I just turned my head. I mean I didn’t throw myself on the floor or anything like that,” Luongo said. “You can ask Smithson. He did make contact with my head.”

Kesler denied any acting on his part to draw the hooking call.

“That’s the rule. I mean, you get your stick parallel to the ice, and it was in my gut. Obviously, he was impeding my progress. That’s the right call. I don’t make the calls, so it’s not my job,” Kesler said.

Oh the drama. Getting this sort of excitement off the ice should help make Game 4 much more difficult to play on it. You know the Predators and Shea Weber are going to come at you with everything they have to make Game 4 a winner for the Predators. Vancouver had best prepare for anything in Nashville but the Predators want the game to be 60 minutes of hell. Of course, Vancouver has been doing irksome things like this all throughout the playoffs. Whether its’ one of the Sedin twins dropping to the ice to draw a call or Luongo’s theatrics, the Canucks are happy to keep trying to get the calls in loathsome ways.

Trotz has to fight fire with fire here which means going through the media. It’s a smart move and it gets officials to keep an eye out for it, all teh better. Getting the benefit of the calls from the referees never hurts. Maybe if this didn’t work out Trotz can leave a fruit basket in the officials’ locker room.

  1. seeingwhatsticks - May 5, 2011 at 12:52 PM

    The Canucks continue to embarrass the game on a nightly basis. I really hope the league decides to nut up and start calling some unsportsmanlike penalties against them, or at the very least stop rewarding them with power plays.

  2. dreadpiratesteve - May 5, 2011 at 1:33 PM

    Agreed. There is no team in the NHL that gets more consistently beneficial calls than the Vancouver Canucks. This went on all season and it is just continuing on to the playoffs. I’ll be very curious to see what happens is the Sharks play Vancouver in the next round. The Sharks were on the wrong end of some EXTREMELY questionable calls in the regular season against Van. One of which being Alex Burrows knocking a puck down with a blatant high touch in front of the net and knocking it in for a GWG. Another being Doug Murray lifting Ryan Kesler’s stick in the 3rd period of a tie game only to get called for high sticking when Kesler HIT HIMSELF IN THE FACE WITH HIS OWN STICK!!!

    This kind of garbage had better not continue. This is not basketball. I’d hate t think our refs were in certain teams pockets.

  3. prov1x - May 5, 2011 at 3:51 PM

    Vancouver has taken diving to new lows. And, with the Canucks being the only Canadian team left, it makes it that much harder for the Preds to get a leg up. It will be interesting to see if any questionable calls go Nashville’s way tonight. If the Canuck acting keeps getting the penalties called it would seem that Toronto has made “The Call” to make sure a team from up north stays in the hunt a while longer. It’s a shame, because the Preds may actually have the better complete team. The hooking call on Weber bordered on criminal it was so bad.

  4. dreadpiratesteve - May 5, 2011 at 4:10 PM

    Barry Melrose, being the simpleton that he is, said we have the best refs in the world and the officiating in these playoffs has been “excellent”. No surprise seeing as he picked the Canucks to win the cup and has been their biggest apologist all season.

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