Kings’ Dean Lombardi says Coyotes goalie incited crowd after Game 5
Kings President and General Manager Dean Lombardi had strong words on Friday about the behavior of some of the Phoenix Coyotes players, condemning the post-game actions of goalie Mike Smith, who threw his stick toward an official and later lashed out at the officiating.
Lombardi asserted that Smith incited the crowd at Jobing.com Arena in Glendale, Ariz., after the Kings beat the Coyotes, 4-3, in overtime in Game 5 of the Western Conference finals. He referenced European soccer and the rules governing the actions of the players in terms of inciting the crowd.
“What the courts said was that because the players attacked the officials -- because the players showed such disrespect for the officials -- that incited the crowd,” Lombardi told The Times on Friday. “They blamed the players. Because those players were conducting themselves like that, it incited the crowd.
“There’s a lot to that. If those guys are acting in that manner toward the officials, it’s a license for the crowd to do the same. What Smith did, he threw that stick at an official and then right after that, somebody is throwing a beer can at [Kings Coach] Darryl Sutter and our captain [Dustin Brown].
“That’s why Europe has that rule. You are responsible for that riot if you are going to show that lack of respect for officials.”
His comments came a day after the NHL said it was investigating the incident and the Coyotes’ actions, according to ESPN.com. NHL executive vice president Colin Campbell told the website that the actions were “unprofessional and unacceptable.”
Lombardi said he thought Smith should be suspended multiple games for the stick-throwing incident.
The Coyotes came unglued even before Dustin Penner’s series-clinching goal in overtime, angered after Brown’s hit on Michal Rozsival. Rozsival left the game with an injured knee, and the Kings scored on the next shift. Phoenix captain Shane Doan and others had words for Brown in the handshake line.
Said Lombardi: “I felt bad for Brownie. He waited a long time to get there.”
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