Kukla's Korner Hockey
by George Malik on 05/19/12 at 09:20 PM ET
The Preakness Stakes race’s 6 PM start yielded a very, very early matinee game between the New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils today, and as our friends at NBC seem to prefer to not mess with their Sunday evening lineup, the Los Angeles Kings and Phoenix Coyotes will play at 3 PM EDT—a noon start, local time—on Sunday. Due to conflicting cross-continental schedules and locales, the CBC aired Coach’s Corner but not its customary Satellite Hotstove’s worth of rumors and innuendo.
So, on what is, in Southeastern Michigan, anyway, a particularly sticky and hockey-less (unless you’ve got the NHL Network and the Memorial Cup to watch) Saturday evening, ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun gets a jump on the Sunday columnists by dishing out a blog entry discussing both Phoenix Coyotes goalie coach Sean Burke’s future and, well, the kind of controversy where the coach of the team with a 3-0 series advantage, one Kings coach Darryl Sutter, has called out a columnist by name in attempting to minimize his opposing coach’s suggestion that Kings players “embellish” to draw penalties:
“You know, in the three series, we’ve usually talked about it, because you want to make officials aware of it, and I think we’ve seen a little bit in the Vancouver series and hardly at all in the St. Louis series, and I haven’t seen it once in this one,’’ Sutter said.
“Quite honestly, the supervisors and/or referees will come over and say, ‘Tell Cam Cole next time not to dive,’ and I haven’t heard that yet this series. So, that really hasn’t been part of it.’’
Cole is the respected Vancouver Sun columnist who asked Sutter about the diving Friday.
As for Tippett, he wasn’t in the mood Friday to get back on that soap box.
“I said my piece on embellishment,” Tippett said. “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.’’
A league source told ESPN.com on Friday that Tippett would not be fined for his postgame comments. Which is good, because a coach should be entitled to vent, especially after going down 3-0 in a series.
Give the rest of LeBrun’s column a gander for his intriguing take on one of the best goalie coaches in the league approaching “free agent” status.
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