Former NHL referee Kerry Fraser addressed the topic of embellishing in today’s column at TSN.ca, making specific reference to the penalty Oliver Ekman-Larsson received for cross-checking Dustin Brown to the ice last night in Los Angeles.
Fraser deemed Brown’s reaction “not proportional to the force exerted by Ekman-Larsson,” which is a fancy way of saying the Kings’ captain took a dive.
Hard-nosed as Brown may be, he does have a reputation for embellishing – a reputation that may end up costing his team, according to Fraser.
Once a player skates down the slippery slope of embellishment, I can assure you it causes every referee to question that player’s honesty when determining a legitimate foul. I would have to suspect that previous history and reputation had something to do with the embellishment penalty that was assessed to Dustin Brown in Game 2 after taking a hard slash to the back of his knee from Mike Smith.
It’s only natural for referees to take a player’s reputation into account when calling penalties. Those that play an honest game should get the benefit of the doubt, while those that live by the flop, should die by the flop.