The post Tocchet Makes Fuss About Embellishment as Canucks Face Oilers appeared first on NHL Trade Talk.

The Vancouver Canucks are getting ready to face an explosive Edmonton Oilers power play in the second round of the playoffs. It’s going to be a series in which the Oilers’ potent power play will be a factor. Interestingly, the NHL was said to have held a meeting with teams prior to their respective second-round matchups, specifically about embellishment. How much it will factor into the Canucks vs. Oilers remains to be seen, but it’s interesting that Canucks’ head coach Rick Tocchet made a deal out of it days before Game 1.

‘I can’t stand’ it: Canucks coach Rick Tocchet tired of embellishment in playoffs

— The Province (@theprovince) May 6, 2024

“I can’t stand embellishment,” Tocchet continued. “I’m not even saying that Edmonton is an embellish team. I’m not saying that. I’m just saying that I would be very on guard with the refs this playoff with this embellishment. Instead, it sounds like Tocchet petitioned for a few more calls to go Vancouver’s way, possibly because he believes they don’t embellish and penalties are being overlooked. “Am I going to nitpick? Do I think we should have had a couple more (power plays)? Yeah. I do.”

In the Kings vs. Oilers series, there was an instance where it came into play. Kevin Fiala was tripped by Warren Foegele. But, because he flopped on the play — something Fiala has been known to do — he was also called for embellishment. The Oilers wound up with a power play when all was said and done after other penalties factored in.

So, Tocchet isn’t wrong. It does exist in hockey and it will happen in the playoffs. But, is it a huge problem and are the Oilers guilty of it?

The Timing of Tocchet’s Embellishment Comments Are Fascinating

Tocchet said he can’t stand the diving, flopping and other shady tactics players across the league have used to convince officials to make calls. Again, while he didn’t suggest the Oilers are a team known for it, there’s some gamesmanship going on here as the timing of his remarks is not a coincidence. The Canucks are set to take on the best power play in the NHL, one that clicked at over 45% against the Kings. That Tocchet might be planting the seeds with the officials supervisor and making public comments about his distaste for embellishment, he’s likely gambling that the referees will be on high alert.

Is Rick Tocchet suggesting officials watch Connor McDavid of the Oilers for embellishment?

“I’m glad Colin Campbell said it — too much embellishing,” noted Tocchet. He added, “Snapping heads, falling down … I think it’s become a lot. I think it’s up to the coaches. I don’t think you can promote that stuff. If not, the NHL has to do something about that stuff with the refs.”

Who Does This Benefit?: The Canucks or the Oilers?

It will be fascinating to see if the timing of Tocchet’s comments help Vancouver, or actually help Edmonton. There are several instances in a game where penalties should be called on elite players and they aren’t. McDavid may be the kind of star who should draw more calls than anyone, but he doesn’t get the benefit of them because of how fast, powerful, and skilled he is. Leon Draisaitl is a big body that gets hacked and whacked as he uses his size to shield the opposition from the puck. Zach Hyman takes a beating in front of the net. There are plenty of reasons for the officials to be watching the Canucks.

So too, the Oilers aren’t known around the league as a team that dives. Fans in other markets might get annoyed by the penalties players like McDavid draw, but that doesn’t make them not penalties. There’s as much a chance that the Canucks get annoyed they can’t stop Edmonton’s power play and try to get some power plays of their own as there are the officials believe McDavid and others are trying to hoodwink the officials.

Next: McDavid Out to Change Narrative for Oilers in Series vs. Canucks

The post Tocchet Makes Fuss About Embellishment as Canucks Face Oilers appeared first on NHL Trade Talk.

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