Overcoming a third period deficit is already tough for an offense as limited as the Phoenix Coyotes’ but killing three power plays during the third period didn’t exactly help matters. Coyotes coach Dave Tippett – sort of – didn’t take the bait when asked about some questionable calls following Phoenix’s 2-1 loss to the Los Angeles Kings.
“If I told you what I really thought it would cost me a lot of money,” Tippett said. “The game is turning a little dishonest [when it comes to] embellishment by the players. When it’s done well, it’s very hard for the referees. If you fall down by the boards, if you drop your stick or throw your head back you put the refs in a hard position … it makes the game dishonest.”
He didn’t go into exact detail, yet Tippett did say a few things that might get him a fine right there. Tippett also partially blamed penalties for Phoenix’s lack of offense, as they only managed four shots on goal in the third period.
Third period calls
One could argue that Oliver Ekman-Larsson shouldn’t have been the only one who received a penalty when he was whistled for cross-checking. Many probably didn’t like that Shane Doan and Drew Doughty received matching penalties and Brian Engblom objected to a Radim Vrbata slashing call in the game’s last minute.
When asked about the embellishments, Sutter’s response was simple.
“I didn’t see it,” Sutter said. “We didn’t complain last game.”
Perhaps that has something to do with that whole “winning” thing, but Sutter’s been pretty fair with his reactions. He didn’t make a big stink about the Shane Doan boarding hit on Trevor Lewis, for example.
So how big of a factor were the calls? Did refs make the wrong ones? Is Tippett out of line for making these comments? Share your thoughts.
This has been a tough postseason for Phil Kessel haters.
The supposed “choker” is on a team that’s in the Eastern Conference Final, but Kessel obviously isn’t just in for the ride with the Pittsburgh Penguins. He scored his 18th point in 17 postseason games by scoring the 1-0 goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 6.
(Watch that goal in the video above.)
It was a dramatic first period, with a Jonathan Drouin goal getting disallowed and Andrei Vasilevskiy making some huge saves on tough chances.
Can Pittsburgh protect this slim lead with 1-0 down one period? We’ll see, but either way, what a great postseason for Kessel.
To start the seemingly pivotal stretch, Andrei Vasilevskiy made an outstanding save on Evgeni Malkin on what sure looked like a scary chance.
The play swiftly shifted from the Tampa Bay Lightning’s end to the Pittsburgh Penguins’ side of the ice, and it seemed like Jonathan Drouin scored a big 1-0 goal in Game 6.
As it turns out, the goal was disallowed thanks to an offside goal review.
Here are a few viewpoints on that moment in GIF form … you can get a fuller view via the video above.
The general feeling among those who don’t have a horse in the race is that it was the right call. (Lightning fans were, uh, not happy.)
At some point, it will probably be kind of boring to hear members of the Tampa Bay Lightning organization praise Jonathan Drouin.
At least if Drouin re-signs with the Bolts after quite the affirming postseason and his ascension amid injuries.
These days? It’s still sort of entertaining.
In the latest case, Jon Cooper was asked to compare the development paths for Nikita Kucherov vs. Drouin. After empathizing with the pressure Drouin carries as a high-end pick (vs. Kucherov’s ability to come in under the radar), Cooper had some very positive things to say about No. 27.
” … So many people think, well, you’re just going to step in the league at 18 and be dominant,” Cooper said. “I truly believe Jonathan is going to be dominant in this league, but it’s hard to do at 18. He had to work through it, and that’s it.”
Drouin, now at 21, has 12 points in 15 playoff games.
In other Lightning news, it sounds like the team will roll with 11 forwards and seven defensemen, an alignment that has been working well lately and also came through at times during the 2015 postseason.
The Penguins, meanwhile, replace Beau Bennett with Conor Sheary.
Tonight could be the final game of the Eastern Conference Final between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Tampa Bay Lightning. You can catch Game 6 via the NBC Sports Group’s television and digital platforms.
Pittsburgh at Tampa Bay (8:00 p.m. ET)
The television broadcast of Game 6 is on NBCSN. To stream the game using the NBC Sports Live Extra app, click here. The Bolts lead the series 3-2.
Here’s some relevant reading material to get you ready for tonight’s game:
—Malkin guaranteed a Penguins win in Game 6
—Lightning coach doesn’t seem flustered by Malkin’s guarantee
—Kucherov continues to be clutch for the Bolts this postseason
—Marc-Andre Fleury: ‘I should have been better’ in Game 5