Landeskog won’t comment on officiating: The Lightning ‘can continue to do’ that

Colorado Avalanche left wing Gabriel Landeskog (92) and Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos (91) face off during the third period in Game 5 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Final. (Jack Dempsey/AP)

In the wake of Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper’s post-Game 4 comments criticizing the officials for a potentially missed too-many-men penalty, Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog isn’t going down that same path.

After the team’s Game 5 defeat at the hands of the back-to-back Cup champs, Landeskog wasn’t interested in commenting on the officiating.

“I’m not going to get into that. That’s something they can continue to do, but we’re not doing that,” the 29-year-old told the media.

On Wednesday, Cooper’s criticism was aimed precisely at what he believed to be a no-call on Nazem Kadri’s game-winner.

“You know, I’ve been part of some heartbreaking losses and defeats to the teams that took us out, and been with a group that just fights, fights and fights. … But this one is going to sting much more than others,” an emotional Cooper had said after Game 4.

“You’re going to see what I mean when you see the winning goal. And my heart breaks for the players. Because we probably still should be playing.”

After further examination, Cooper’s ominous denouncement of the play seemed to pertain to a too-many-men-on-the-ice penalty that wasn’t whistled.

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On Friday night, it was Cale Makar’s penalty on a 4-on-4 that led to the post-game question. Nikita Kucherov would go on to score on the Lightning’s one-man advantage.

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Though the plays in question and the comments afterwards may have slightly differed, Landeskog’s closing sentiment about moving forward and focusing on the team’s performance was similar to Cooper’s on Thursday.

“Some of those calls we could have probably done without,” said Landeskog. “But at the end of the day we’re trying to focus on what we got to do, and that’s what we’re going to do moving forward.”

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