Much of the snide back and forth soundbite wars that happen between NHL coaches is insufferably dull. This latest mini-feud, if you can call it that, between Sharks head coach Pete DeBoer and Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock is no exception.
DeBoer was unhappy with the officiating in the first game of the Western Conference Finals, particularly with how frequently (or infrequently) St. Louis was sent to the penalty box. From Friend of the Blog Kevin Kurz:
"What we're relying on is the officials to do their job. St. Louis is one of the most penalized teams in the league, regular season and playoffs. They need to call the game accordingly. [We] need to make them pay a price for being one of the most penalized teams on the power play, which we didn't last night."
The Sharks went 0-3 on the power play, though I suppose an argument could be made San Jose earned at least one more during the course of the contest. Hitchcock, unsurprisingly, was perfectly fine with ow the refereeing went.
"What are you saying, is he whining for calls, or what's he doing?" Hitchcock asked.
"We were told not to whine for calls, so we're not going to whine for calls. If Pete wants to do it, that's his [prerogative]. But we're not doing it. I'm not sure why he's doing it. You've got to ask him that question. We're just not doing it. So, we'll play the game, we'll play it the right way, we'll play it honest, but we'll play it hard [and] let the refs decide. They've got to do their job, too.
"I'm not going to tell the referees how to do their job, nor am I going to tell Gary Bettman or [Colin] Campbell how to do their job. They've got a tough enough job as it is. I can barely do my job. So I'm going to do my job, and if other guys want to whine and get other people to have to work for them, that's up to them."
Hitchcock slid another barb into an answer about Patrick Marleau potentially moving to the third line:
"I'm not telling Pete [DeBoer] how to coach. Nor am I telling him how to referee. Just telling him we don't like that match."
So, to recap: DeBoer thinks the Blues should be sent to the box more and Hitchcock is whining about DeBoer's whining. Like I said, who cares? It benefits the Sharks to have more power plays called as, in my opinion, they hold the special teams edge. For what it's worth, St. Louis finished seventh in the regular season with 360 penalties called against them. The Sharks were called for 301, which puts them 25th.