Tippett now mum on `embellishment’

On a conference call today, Phoenix coach Dave Tippett declined to elaborate on his comments last night about embellishing and his assertion that the game is turning “dishonest.” To his credit, Tippett acknowledged that frustration about the Coyotes’ series deficit might have sparked his comments, which included the flat-out assertion that the Kings had benefited from calls in this series.

TIPPETT: “I said my piece on embellishment. It wasn’t geared toward that game last night. I talked about this from the start of the year. So I’ve said my piece on that. Obviously, there’s frustration on our part that we would like to get better results. Our margin for error is very slim. When we feel like there’s some situations that happen in a game that go against you, we’re looking for every little scratch we can find, every little piece of positive we can find to help us get back in the series. When that doesn’t happen, you get frustrated with it. But, you know, you give L.A. credit, they’ve played very well. I don’t think we’ve played as well in this series as we have the two previous. We’re down 3-0 because of it.”

It’s unclear what Tippett meant by “I talked about this from the start of the year.” An online search of 73 Arizona newspapers revealed zero matches (before today) for the search words “Tippett” and “embellish.” Anyway, the subject naturally came up today during the Kings’ media session as well. Darryl Sutter, Rob Scuderi and Mike Richards weighed in with their thought…

SUTTER: “In the three series — and we usually talk about it, because you want to make the officials aware of it — I think we saw it a little bit in the Vancouver series, hardly at all in the St. Louis series and I haven’t seen it once in this one. Quite honest, the supervisors and or referees will come over and say, `Tell (a player) not to dive.’ So, I haven’t heard it yet in this series. That really hasn’t been a part of it.”

SCUDERI: “It’s kind of a tough question. It’s something I’d rather stay away from. It’s up to the refs’ discretion. In my opinion, I think they’ve done a good job, but — not a shocker — we’ve had more power plays than they’ve had. But I think the refs have called the game. You can’t call the score. You’ve got to call the game, and I think they’ve done a good job so far.”

(on whether it’s hard not to take the comments as a personal accusation…)
SCUDERI: “Whoever has more power plays that game is going to be happy, and whoever has less is going to think the other team embellished or what have you, in that regard. We’ve been on the other end of it at times, and felt that we were shortchanged. Apparently, in this series it’s the other way around.”

RICHARDS: “I’m not sure. It’s fast out there. It’s intense. I don’t see it, but if it’s there, it’s not for me to point out. I don’t see it as a player on the ice. Things happen quick out there, so it’s hard to pinpoint anything that happened, because you never know what did (happen).”

(on whether it’s hard not to take the comments as a personal accusation…)
RICHARDS: “I don’t have to take it as anything. He’s entitled to his opinion. They kind of cut the refs down, so they have the best of the best here, as well as the teams. They know what’s an embellishment and what’s not, and I think they’ve called a pretty good game. I think, in playoff series, when one team has more power plays, the other team is not so happy. We just have to play our game. We can’t worry about what’s said and what’s not said, and officiating and what’s called and not called. We just have to play our game and, whatever happens, roll with it.”

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