April 20, 2012 6:05 pm

Is the series calming down?

Some first-round series — hello, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh — have grown increasingly crazy with every game, but if anything, things seem to be settling down between the Kings and the Vancouver Canucks. Game 1 included a total of 11 minor penalties, one major and one game misconduct. Game 2 included 13 minors and two 10-minute misconducts. Game 3 included 12 minors and one fight. Game 4 included four minors and nothing else.

In reference to the less-chippy overall play in Game 4, Jarret Stoll said, “I think both teams knew the importance. At times, it almost seemed like it was a regular-season game. It wasn’t the type of playoff games that we’ve seen.’’

How much of a factor is the officiating? Each of the four games has had a different set of referees, but the entire series has been supervised by Rob Shick, who communicates with the on-ice officials and the coaches. Darryl Sutter said he doesn’t believe that the ever-changing sets of officials impacts the series in a significant way.

SUTTER: “I think both teams have probably learned lessons, by teams and by games, with what you can do and what you can’t do. We have Rob Shick, who is a former referee and a really good referee, as the supervisor, so if you have any issues, that’s where it’s all going to go through. It’s not so much who you’ve got for the game. It’s what they’re being given (as instructions).’’

Question: Do you talk with Rob Shick during the series?

SUTTER: “Yeah. I think it’s important that you do, because there are always things that go on during the season, that nobody really sees, that maybe a player a player tells you or that you see at ice level, that you might not think impacts a game but it might impact a player or impact the series.’’

Question: Do you talk about specific things, like goalie interference?

SUTTER: “They have a mandate, probably the same mandate that they have preseason (and) post-All-Star break. So they just try to reinforce those things. If there are tendencies, whether it’s liberty on a goaltender or liberty on a player or something like that, then they will enforce that, or try to enforce that.’’

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