Kings react to Clifford penalty
One of the final twists in tonight’s wild game came with 6:13 remaining in regulation, when Kings winger Kyle Clifford was given a match penalty for a hit on Phoenix’s Gilbert Brule. Clifford had only been out of the penalty box for 24 seconds after he served a tripping penalty. Brule was very slow to get up, after what appeared to be a hit to the head, and in a post-whistle scrum, Clifford tussled with Keith Yandle. Yandle got a two-minute roughing penalty, so the teams were 4-on-4 for two minutes and then the Coyotes got a three-minute power play, on which they scored to make it a 4-4 game. Afterward, the Kings were most upset with the way the penalties were called. Initially, matching two-minute penalties were on the scoreboard, but after an officials’ conference, the call was changed. That didn’t sit well with Dustin Brown or Darryl Sutter after the game.
BROWN: “It was originally a two(-minute penalty. I guess the linesman came over and said it was a five. It is what it is. The only issue — I haven’t seen it, maybe it was a five, maybe it wasn’t — but they had the two on the board for a minute, and then they come over and tell him? I think that stuff should happen immediately. I know there was a big pile-up, but they put the two-minute penalty up and put him in the box. Then the linesman came over after the fact. If he thought it was a five-minute major right away, he should have been over there right away.’’
SUTTER: “They said that after the whistle, then they have the right — all four of them — to talk about call or non-call. One of them called it. I’m not really sure which one. Obviously all four guys on the ice have… Dennis LaRue is the senior official, but my problem is, they weren’t calling nothing, and then (the Coyotes) jump on Cliffy and we get the match (penalty) and a game (misconduct) and they only get two (minutes). So it gives them a full three-minute advantage. That’s my problem with the call.”
Sutter was also asked about the probability that Clifford would have a disciplinary hearing tomorrow with league vice president Brendan Shanahan, because of the nature of his hit on Brule…
SUTTER: “I really don’t know how they work that. To me, it was not the right call.’’