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Zuccarello: ‘I’m not a diver’

Apr 22, 2014, 10:58 AM EDT

One thing to watch for in tonight’s Flyers-Rangers game? If the Blueshirts continue to get dinged for embellishment after being whistled for a pair of diving penalties in Sunday’s 4-2 loss at MSG.

One player in particular to watch will be New York forward Mats Zuccarello, who was sent to the box after getting hit by Flyers d-man Andrew MacDonald midway through the second period.

“I didn’t agree with that call, but at the same time, it’s fast hockey out there and refs makes mistakes, like we do,” Zuccarello said, per ESPN New York. “There’s nothing to think about right now.

“I think everybody who watches me play knows I’m not a diver.”

Here’s the play:

That embellishment call was the first of two against the Rangers in the period. Less than three minutes after Zuccarello was penalized, Derek Dorsett was called for diving after getting cross-checked by Wayne Simmonds. According to the New York Times, it was just the second time since the NHL started calling diving penalties in 1992-93 that one team got whistled at least twice in the same game — the other occurred in Montreal’s opening-round series with Washington 2010, when Maxim Lapierre and Brian Gionta combined to get whistled for three diving penalties in Game 6.

Needless to say, the Rangers aren’t happy with how things transpired on Sunday, but head coach Alain Vigneault wasn’t biting when asked what he thought of the calls.

“Did you see the replays?” Vigneault asked. “So, I’ll let you make the judgment on if Zuccarello’s was an embellishment. It doesn’t matter what I think.

“I’ll let you make the judgment and make the call on that.”

  1. girouxsalem89 - Apr 22, 2014 at 11:06 AM

    The call on Zuccarello was bad, but the call on Dorsett was spot on. He lays a shoulder on Giroux, then gets tapped by Simmonds and goes down in a heap.

    The thing I don’t understand is that, how can there be both a penalty and embellishment on the same play? Doesn’t it have to be one or the other?

    • ironyisadeadscene - Apr 22, 2014 at 11:21 AM

      Agree, it’s a stupid thing to penalize both. Easier call for the refs i guess to make it 4 on 4 rather than make the tough call and give one team a PP

      • bwayblueshirt - Apr 22, 2014 at 12:28 PM

        That would make them think a little harder rather than just play it safe and even it up. Schockingly, giroux and I are in agreement.

      • girouxsalem89 - Apr 22, 2014 at 3:05 PM

        Every once in awhile I feel as though I make comments that aren’t just a bunch of biased BS.

  2. sjsharks66 - Apr 22, 2014 at 11:07 AM

    Every team embellishes come playoff time. It’s just the Rangers got caught this time. I’ve seen the Sharks sell a few calls the past 2 games. It happens.

    • macgrubie - Apr 22, 2014 at 2:48 PM

      says the crosby lover

  3. bombaywasahawk - Apr 22, 2014 at 11:13 AM

    “What do we do when we fall off the board?”
    “I’m not a diver, Maury”

  4. nyeagles10 - Apr 22, 2014 at 11:13 AM

    Dive or No Dive it is what it is. Rangers got outplayed and deserved to lose

  5. stakex - Apr 22, 2014 at 11:24 AM

    That was just a horrible call. It obviously wasn’t a dive, and to be honest there shouldn’t have been ANY penalty on the play either way.

    I think it comes down to the fact that the Flyers were taking so many penalties, but the refs didn’t want to continue to give the Rangers power plays. After all, if not for the two phantom diving calls, the Rangers would have had eight power plays… which is a lot for a playoff game.

    • hockey412 - Apr 22, 2014 at 11:26 AM

      Amen. You beat me to it. If it’s a penalty, just call the damn penalty and quit trying to let them get away with something to keep it even strength.

    • flyerspsu - Apr 22, 2014 at 11:52 AM

      i agree there shouldnt have been any penalties called on this play, but do you seriously not think Dorsett dove? Simmonds gave him a light shot that caused Dorsett to lean over for a second and then he jumped in the boards on his own, tbh it was one of the more over the top dives I have seen in awhile

      • 7mantel - Apr 22, 2014 at 12:04 PM

        Did MacDonald use scissor play to take Zuccarello down or did I miss something there ?

  6. hockey412 - Apr 22, 2014 at 11:24 AM

    Meh. This article is an elaborate ruse, to detract from the real story. Will the Flyers continue to play undisciplined hockey, and will the refs, who’ve been instructed to try and keep things even-strength, continue to call BS ’embellishment’ calls so that they can also take one of the other team’s players. They’d already called their quota of Flyer penalties, they had to even things out.

    • ibieiniid - Apr 22, 2014 at 11:58 AM

      “They’d already called their quota of Flyer penalties, they had to even things out.”

      if that was the case, wouldn’t they have let MacD off the hook?

      • hockey412 - Apr 22, 2014 at 1:51 PM


        You win this round…..thanks for ruining my conspiracy theory, butthole.

      • ibieiniid - Apr 22, 2014 at 1:53 PM

        lol I’m not saying refs don’t do it, but I don’t think this is a case of a make-up call. Flyers don’t get too many of those.

  7. 950003cups - Apr 22, 2014 at 11:38 AM

    Did Zuccarello flash two peace signs over his head like Richard Nixon when he said that quote?

    “I’mmmmmm not a diver”

  8. kastout11 - Apr 22, 2014 at 11:44 AM

    I don’t think it was a dive, but he did embelish it. The Flyers have either been really undisciplined or the Rangers have not gotten caught committing penalties. The PP differential is ridiculous so far in this series. Now that the series shifts to Philly’s barn, maybe they will get the home rink calls. They are lucky to have a split leaving MSG.

    • imgoingtowichita - Apr 22, 2014 at 11:51 AM

      Your first sentence nailed it!

    • bleedgreenaz - Apr 22, 2014 at 11:51 AM

      Lucky to have a split? They beat the Rangers by being the better team in Game 2. How did you turn skill into luck?

      • ibieiniid - Apr 22, 2014 at 12:01 PM

        I think he was talking as far as penalties go. The only issue I have with him saying it in that context is that the Flyers have proven they can still win (made playoffs) while being one of the most penalized teams. They aren’t “lucky.” They’ve just found ways to compensate (PK) for their penalties.

  9. flyerspsu - Apr 22, 2014 at 11:49 AM

    Dorsett definitely dove

    but what happened with zuccarello was different, Mcdonald gave him a push that wouldnt knock 98% of the players in the league so the case was either Zucc is just that small that push sent him that far or he dove, im thinking it wasnt a dive and it was just he was is just so small

    but b/c it was only a push it wasnt really worthy of an interference penalty from Macdonad either, there should have been no penalty period on the play but an interference and dive was essentially the same result

  10. maalea - Apr 22, 2014 at 11:49 AM

    The one embellishment that everyone gets away with, is when a stick comes up around the head and the “victim” whips their head back like JFK in Dallas. You see this in every game, an it is called every time.

    • ibieiniid - Apr 22, 2014 at 12:02 PM

      was that really a necessary Kennedy analogy?

      • maalea - Apr 22, 2014 at 3:35 PM

        Has anyone not seen the Zabruder film? It’s the most severe head whip in history. NHL players have learned how to sell a high stick.

  11. hockeyfan28 - Apr 22, 2014 at 12:01 PM

    The Rangers have 12 power plays the Flyers 3……yeh the refs are really out to get the Rangers

    • sausey22 - Apr 22, 2014 at 12:59 PM

      No. The Flyers are really out to get the Rangers.

  12. 7mantel - Apr 22, 2014 at 12:09 PM

    NYR power play needs to improve ,plan and simple !

  13. jrclark1978 - Apr 22, 2014 at 12:28 PM

    Zuccarello and Dorsett should take lessons on how to sell a dive from the Pittsburgh Princess.

    • c9castine - Apr 22, 2014 at 12:55 PM

      thats funny in crosby’s long “diving career” he has never been penalized for it….

      you think maybe he just gets a little extra attention and people have a hard time containing him since hes you know, the most dangerous offensive weapon in the league year after year?

      nah…that wouldnt make sense..

      • ibieiniid - Apr 22, 2014 at 12:58 PM

        so you’re telling me Teemu Selanne got in his face about nothing during the Olympics?

      • c9castine - Apr 22, 2014 at 1:15 PM

        yeah, just like the millions of other players who feel the need to get into crosbys face about nothing.

        seriously, every game some guy who is older than sid, or thinks he plays “cleaner” than sid, or thinks he is going to psych sid out gets in his face and calls him a diver, a whiner, whatever have you. literally every single game he plays.

        lots of respect for Teemu, but citing his name doesnt bring any more credibility to the issue. competitors are competitors.

      • petersteelewannabe - Apr 22, 2014 at 2:14 PM

        Was the “Diving” rule even in existence in Crosby’s first few years? I ask that because he really doesn’t do it a fraction as much as he did early in his career. Unfortunately for him it will be remembered by opponent’s fans for the rest of his playing days though.

  14. c9castine - Apr 22, 2014 at 12:46 PM

    thats a pretty bad call i dont see a dive. he may have gone down a little easy, but clearly MacDonald shouldnt have been shoving him because he went to the box too.

    i didnt see the dorsett play. ive seen the flyers do plenty of diving and cheap shots and pick plays over the years so dont worry new york fans, itll come back around. all teams do these things…any fan wanting to call out a particular team is just ignorant.

    • ibieiniid - Apr 22, 2014 at 12:59 PM

      dude, “going down a little easy” is the definition of embellishment.

      • c9castine - Apr 22, 2014 at 1:17 PM

        yeah that may be the case, however they dont use a dictionary to make calls in the NHL and i said “i dont see a dive”.

        a dive to me is where there is absolutely no infraction on the player, and yet throws himself into the air or onto the ice. there was an infraction here. so yeah, he embellished a bit.

        if you want to get into who embellishes and who doesnt, and not admit that every player on your team does it as well, your gonna have a rough go.

    • ibieiniid - Apr 22, 2014 at 1:05 PM

      but if i’m being honest, “any fan wanting to call out a particular team is just ignorant” was my sentiment on jrclark’s comment when I read it as well.

      • c9castine - Apr 22, 2014 at 1:17 PM

        well then whyd you do it.

      • ibieiniid - Apr 22, 2014 at 1:20 PM

        because for you to say Crosby doesn’t dive, ever, because he hasn’t been called for it is just as ignorant as what he said. you make sense a lot of the time, but I think your blinders are on for this one. (not that I don’t put mine on from time to time too, just sayin’)

      • c9castine - Apr 22, 2014 at 1:35 PM

        crosby doesnt dive. i dont have blinders on.

        crosby is guilty of the same little embellishment and draw plays that hundreds of other players employ around the league. ive never seen him just flat out throw himself on the ice ala sean avery, zdeno chara, or brad marchand and company.

        you and so many philly fans want to keep seperating him as some kind of special diver yet through all the attention he gets and even through his 100 PIM rookie season, he has never been called for it.

        you guys need to get over this 10 year phase where you call him princess and cindy and yada yada…first of all i can assure you he doesnt care. check his point totals against your team. second, it hasnt stopped him from doing anything. in fact, he and the penguins have accomplished so much that the flyers havent in 10 years its ridiculous.

        hard for him or anybody to care what headlines philly writers get paid to write when he goes home to two scoring titles 1(2) hart trophies, numerous other individual awards including players player, a stanely cup and two gold medals one as captain.

        give it up man. seriously. find something else to pick on pittsburgh about there is plenty of ammo as much as i hate to admit it…

        we signed rob scuderi for almost 4 million dollars a year at 4 years. hes so washed up its not even funny. but philly doesnt pay attention to real hockey issues…too obsessed with cindy crosby the aqua man.

      • ibieiniid - Apr 22, 2014 at 1:37 PM

        i stopped when you said there’s “hundreds” of people that dive as much as Crosby. good day.

      • c9castine - Apr 22, 2014 at 1:42 PM

        lol im sorry but ibie you need to learn to read man…

        i said hes guilty of the same embellishment and draw plays as hundreds of other players.

        if you cant look up and down the ranks of the NHL and AHL and see players clutching a stick to get a hooking call, going down a little easy to get an interference call, throwing their head back to make sure the referee saw a highstick….then your just naive buddy.

      • flyboystransport - Apr 22, 2014 at 3:19 PM

        Crosby doesn’t just embellish(which a lot of players do)….He whines about not getting calls too which is why he gets ripped on.

    • drewzducks - Apr 22, 2014 at 6:46 PM

      “Crosby doesn’t dive…I’ve never seen him just throw himself flat on the ice a la Avery and some Bruins…” Crosby embellishes while others dive? Thanks for confirming your complete lack of credibility and apparent lack of hockey knowledge when looking through your Pens colored glasses regarding all things Sid. At least you’re on record as being as much of an unbiased homer as the rest of us “mortals”:

  15. jkay1818 - Apr 22, 2014 at 1:33 PM

    I don’t know if it’s a matter of the refs calling it one way or another, and in favor of a particular team. This isn’t just happening in the playoffs and the refs are out to get one team in particular.
    All year Berube has been saying the Flyers have to be more disciplined and they take too many penalties. they definitely do and most of the calls this series have been spot on. That is also due in part to the fact they are a physical team and also have guys who lose their cool every now and then.

    As far as the Rangers go, them not taking a ton of penalties is nothing new. So it isn’t like the refs are conspiring one way or another. I heard a stat after game one that the Rangers have been called for 3 or less penalties in a game 40 times this season, so, they are just a disciplined team who doesn’t take a ton of penalties. It also coincides to their style of play. They don’t have a ton of size and are a fast moving team who is constantly moving the puck rather than laying out big hits. The team that went to the ECF two years ago had size and a ton of tough guys. Rupp, Prust, Bickell, dubinsky, deveaux, newbury, john scott, so they played the body more and racked up more mins (mostly fighting)

    • lilgurgi - Apr 22, 2014 at 2:06 PM

      Just because you aren’t called for a penalty, does not mean you are a clean team. You can easily watch any game and see several plays that are called in one game and not another. Voracek gets called for a 1 handed slash while Keith does a lumberjack chop on Reaves and then another on Backes just before Backes is freight-trained by Seabrook…with no penalty for either slash.

      Overall the refs have been brutal and very inconsistent. It makes it hard to not scream at the tv in bewilderment/frustration when watching a game these days.

  16. lilgurgi - Apr 22, 2014 at 2:14 PM

    What is also lost in these articles is that they always bring up how the Flyers were 2nd worst in the league for the number of times shorthanded (316). However, they fail to note that the Flyers also led the league with the most power plays for any team in the league (294).

    This is why people bring up the question in regards to the 12-4 differential in power plays. The Flyers take a lot of penalties, but they also cause the other team to do so as well. So far this series, the Rangers haven’t had many calls against them. I’m not saying that the Rangers aren’t innocent, but they aren’t 100% staying away from penalty type plays either. They just happen to not be getting called for them so far.

  17. bigdong28 - Apr 22, 2014 at 2:33 PM

    I’m getting really sick of the officiating league wide in these playoffs. The only things that should be called are the ones that are must calls. I don’t think simmonds or dorsett should have either gone to the box. The stuff after the whistles is part of the playoffs…unless there are clear shots to someones face…no one should be going off for a penalty. The refs should not play a part in deciding the outcome. & although they haven’t quite done that yet…it looks like it could get there. Let the boys play.

  18. flyboystransport - Apr 22, 2014 at 3:23 PM

    Refs have been bad throughout the playoffs so far so what good is trying to sell a penalty? If you wanna embellish. …go play in the nba. Flyers will take stupid penalties just by being aggressive so if ur trying to get cheap penalties aren’t you admitting the other team is better?

  19. drewzducks - Apr 22, 2014 at 6:09 PM

    I’m shocked that les Habs are the only team in NHL history to get caught diving three times in the same game.
    In case anyone forgot, here’s the video:

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