Add Red Wings defenseman Brendan Smith to the list of NHL players who aren’t overly thrilled with the officiating.
Per MLive.com, Smith believes the Chicago Blackhawks have been allowed to take a few too many liberties with Detroit players during the Western Conference semifinal series that the Wings lead, 3-2.
“They are getting away with a lot of those after-the-whistle cheap shots or whatever; maybe (referees) don’t see it,” he said.
But with a chance to eliminate the favored ‘Hawks tonight at Joe Louis Arena, Smith also knows the importance of maintaining discipline: “They’re trying to be pesky and whatnot. If you let them get under your skin then they’ve won.”
Chicago’s power play — which hadn’t been very good for much of the playoffs — went 2-for-3 in Game 5, a 4-1 victory for the ‘Hawks.
And related to what Smith was saying, one of the power-play goals was scored after Wings forward Justin Abdelkader took an unnecessary crosschecking penalty.
“We just got to play between the whistles and not worry about anything extracurricular stuff and stay away from the scrums,” said Abdelkader.