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Sutter calls out ‘undisciplined officiating,’ says rules change after GM meetings

Mar 26, 2014, 4:40 PM EDT

dsutter Getty Images

Some curious comments from Los Angeles head coach Darryl Sutter, per LA Kings Insider:

Sutter: We talk about our team as not taking offensive zone penalties, because the way the officiating is now, we have some undisciplined officiating. So, quite honest, you can’t let that be a distraction to our team. We’ve seen it the last two games where, quite honest, we’ve had goals that were supposed to be goals that weren’t.

LKI: On the officials not awarding Mike Richards a goal in last night’s empty net situation…

Sutter: They will say it all evens out. I’ve heard it. Once the league has their meetings in Florida in March, even though the rules don’t change, for a while the rules do change. And that’s unfortunate, and we see it. And I’ve seen it for a long time, and I know the answer always is ‘Oh, it’ll all even out.’ Well, that’s not true.

I mean, it’s tough for the referees, too, because they’re in a high-pressure environment right now too, because they want to play after April 12th, too. That’s a fact…I mean, there are 16 teams that get to play, and there are a certain amount of the officials that get to play.

The Richards goal referenced was from last night’s game versus Washington, when John Carlson hooked Richards as he carried the puck towards an empty Capitals net with 59 seconds remaining. Instead of awarding Richards the goal (falling under the criteria of Rule 26), referees gave Carlson a penalty — and, shortly thereafter, Evgeny Kuznetsov scored a shorthanded goal to even the game up and send it to overtime.

As for the recently wrapped GM meetings in Boca Raton, the NHL said there were “no major announcements or major changes,” set to take place. That said, the fact such a large-scale meeting always takes place prior to the start of the NHL playoffs has led some, like Sutter, to suggest more is being discussed than things like 3-on-3 overtime and coach’s challenges.

  1. areaman714 - Mar 26, 2014 at 4:43 PM

    He didn’t mention kneeing . . .

    • jjregan21 - Mar 26, 2014 at 6:51 PM

      Or diving…

  2. ibieiniid - Mar 26, 2014 at 4:45 PM

    yes, their undisciplined officiating has turned your innocent Kings into the 3rd most minor-penalized team in the league. a whole season of Kings-aimed undisciplined officiating. that’s surely what it is.

    • ibieiniid - Mar 26, 2014 at 4:46 PM

      oh, he means on goals/no goals.

      [tail between legs]

  3. kaptaanamerica - Mar 26, 2014 at 4:54 PM

    teh kings, bruins, sharks should be the last teams complaining about missed calls…

    • btlpper68 - Mar 26, 2014 at 5:58 PM

      The sharks are like one of the Least penalized teams what are you taking about they should be on of the first teams complaining with all the no goal call against them

      • wtfkwp - Mar 26, 2014 at 6:16 PM

        Two words: Raffi Torres.

      • thesportsjudge - Mar 26, 2014 at 9:42 PM

        @wtfkwp I don’t think either one of those are words. 😛

      • blackhawksdynasty - Mar 26, 2014 at 10:09 PM

        Based on that comment – if it can be classified as such – and how well it was written (joking), I’d have to assume you’re either a drunken imbecile, or a 12 year old girl.

    • hockeyflow33 - Mar 26, 2014 at 7:04 PM


  4. comeonnowguys - Mar 26, 2014 at 4:55 PM

    Anything like in 2012, when all of a sudden obstruction-type penalties stopped being called partway through the season? Didn’t hear the Kings complain then.

  5. slysipops - Mar 26, 2014 at 5:31 PM

    you mean like …slew footing…kneeing….hits to head ……BROWN …MUZZIN ..? ? and you have the nerve to whine ?

  6. muckleflugga - Mar 26, 2014 at 5:32 PM

    sutter’s bang-on as usual

    the idea a law of averages will balance the scale over time is a statistical fallacy

    it’s easy to talk about incompetence and blown calls and missed calls averaging-out but there is no way a referee looking directly at a foul being committed has any excuse for not following the letter of the law

    unless he has a vested interest in the outcome of the game

    i heard charlie simmer beating the ‘let them play drum’ in calgary the other night … all well and good were it not for the fact the idiom implies the professional game is bent and subject to mood and temperament of officials rather than rules themselves

    either call the game according to the rules and watch the game adjust as it always does

    or have the fbi audit the personal bank accounts and criminal associations of every person who’s play or influence impacts game outcome


    i’d like to involve the rcmp but they’re overwhelmed in a forensic audit of conservative expense claims in government and in senate

    talk about criminal associations

  7. wtfkwp - Mar 26, 2014 at 6:15 PM

    There’s nothing “curious” about his comments. If you’ve watched the last half-dozen Kings games, you know he’s right, and it can’t be sour grapes, because the last two times they won anyway, and giving away the extra point didn’t hurt them.

    • wtfkwp - Mar 26, 2014 at 6:31 PM

      By the way, the author hacked up Sutter’s comments. After the first quote, he also says “Where I’d rather dwell on it is we took two offensive zone penalties last night, and we shouldn’t take those, and if you’re spending too much time in your own zone, then you’re taking three or four of those.” (which is what the question was about–undisciplined penalties)

      The second bit was directly in response to being asked about the blown call where Richards should have been awarded a goal. It also didn’t end as quoted above. It was followed by “So I’m sure that they feel a lot of pressure, too.”

      Some bloggers seem bent on creating controversy by butchering quotes.

      • Mike Halford - Mar 26, 2014 at 7:50 PM

        I didn’t “hack up” anything. Sutter said what he said and those are direct quotes.

      • wtfkwp - Mar 26, 2014 at 8:13 PM

        More complete quotes exist elsewhere, for some odd reason.

      • wtfkwp - Mar 26, 2014 at 8:14 PM

        So you can call it what you want, but if less convenient and more complete quotes exist, that’s what I call it.

      • laxnhockey - Mar 26, 2014 at 8:27 PM

        The point is, hacker Halford, that’s not all he said and it affects the context.

      • thesheabutterfactory - Mar 26, 2014 at 10:59 PM

        This wasn’t exactly a sensationalistic article. Does the rest of the quote really change the context? Was the rest of the quote really worth adding? Seems to me, laxnhockey and wtfkwp, you guys are the ones who are actually manufacturing a controversy.

      • wtfkwp - Mar 27, 2014 at 8:34 AM

        Yeah, it was. Sutter didn’t “call out” the officiating. He mentioned it as an aside when discussing the need for his players to be aware of taking penalties. Additionally, chopping up the quotes is quite obviously a device to distort. Why, otherwise, go out of the way to chop them up instead of expressing them in whole?

  8. 101starmymedic - Mar 26, 2014 at 6:41 PM

    This has been the most poorly and incompetently officiated season that I’ve ever seen in my 20 years of watching hockey.

    • laxnhockey - Mar 26, 2014 at 8:25 PM

      I honestly don’t watch as much of the regular saison as I did when I had saisons tickets, mostly because the officiating makes it hard to stomach. The worst of it is the makeup call after some phantom penalty when the ref realizes he screwed the pooch.

      I just hope we don’t have to watch the mindless officiating we saw in last year’s playoffs.

      • cofran2004 - Mar 27, 2014 at 8:45 AM

        Are you spelling season wrong on purpose? If so, why?

  9. laxnhockey - Mar 26, 2014 at 6:48 PM

    He’s right of course. As an on-ice official myself, I know I’ve paid the price for doing the right thing rather than toeing the line and making some marginal BS call that had no impact on the play. By rule, if the stick is horizontal to the ice, they want a hooking called whether a hooking actually occurred or not. It’s detrimental to the game.

    Exhibit A- the “holding” call on Gallagher when he made a great play to strip Campbell of the puck by bumping the lower part of his stick with the lower part of his own stick.

    It makes the game hard to stomach.

    The refs tried hard to ruin that game the other night and I’m sure there are numerous other examples, but the officiating needs to improve, a lot.

  10. habsmansboyfriend - Mar 26, 2014 at 9:47 PM

    All one has to do is watch the replay of the 3rd period of the recent Ottawa-Montreal game (where Montreal scored 4 goals in the last 5 mins) to know the officiating is pathetic. AND the refs have an agenda and/or bias in the game.

  11. winger58 - Mar 27, 2014 at 2:05 AM

    The only thing I want to see changes is the stupid, cop-out, “intent to blow the whistle” rule. That’s like a baseball umpire waiting to see a replay and saying, “I meant to call him out but I couldn’t get my hands out of my pockets in time!”. The whistle is an audible signal which can be picked up on replay. The refs brain can’t be seen on replay. Hell, it usually can’t even be seen on a c-t scan!

  12. aldog83 - Mar 27, 2014 at 12:57 PM

    Hopefully this does not backfire on Sutter by getting on the “bad side” of the Refs for the playoffs.

    The KIngs lack of consistent scoring compounded by their style of play and “playoff hockey”

    Their all going to be 1 goal games for LA…

    we will need some calls!

    -I do agree that Richards take down should have been awarded a goal or at least a penalty shot.


    Hope the KINGS can stomp the Penguins while they are down!


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