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Dave Tippett unhappy with officiating, embellishment following Game 3 loss

By Adam Gretz | Hockey writer
DaveTippettHow do you know desperation is starting to set in for the Phoenix Coyotes? The focus is now being turned to the officiating as was the case following Thursday's game in Los Angeles, which the Kings won by a 2-1 margin to take a 3-0 series lead.

Coyotes coach Dave Tippett talked extensively in his post-game press conference about the officiating and the current "dishonest" state of the game due to embellishment by players on the ice.

"If I told you what I really thought I think it would cost me a lot of money," said Tippett.

He then proceeded to tell us exactly what he thought.

"Personally, the whole thing, and I've talked about this in a lot of meetings with Don [Maloney] our general manager, the game is turning a little dishonest. And it's embellishment by players. When it's done well it's very hard for the referees. 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. It's not just our game tonight, you see it all the way through. The referees have a hard job and what it does is it makes the game dishonest. But in actual fact, to make it work to your favor you gotta do it more."

"You gotta do it," Tippett continued. "If everybody else is doing it, you better do it too. We saw more than one penalty out there, for us and against us, that were called where I thought they were plays with embellishment. It's too bad it has to go that way. It's too bad you get to this point in the season and that becomes a factor, but it's the reality of our game right now."

(Tippett said more in that one answer than John Tortorella has said the entire postseason. Combined.)

The Coyotes were penalized four times in the third period of Thursday's game, putting quite the dent in their hopes of putting together a late surge to tie potentially the game.

Tippett is one of the best coaches in the NHL, and he's doing what he feels he needs to do at this point, but there is a reason his team is in the position it's currently in.

And it's not the officiating, and it's not embellishment.

At the end of the day the Kings have been -- and are -- the better team, and have demonstrated that every game this series with their ability to push the play, maintain possession, and keep the puck away from the Coyotes.

During 5-on-5 situations in this series the Kings have attempted 60 percent of the shots that have been taken between the two teams. When one team has a 60/40 edge when it comes to offensive zone time and possession, that team is more likely to draw way more penalties than it takes because their opponent is constantly chasing the game and doing whatever it can to prevent scoring chances and goals.

That's one of the big advantages that comes with controlling the puck and going on the attack.

The Coyotes aren't losing in this series because of officiating or embellishment. They're losing because they've consistently put themselves in a bad position by never having the puck and always having to defend.

Photo: Getty Images

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