Knoblauch wants 'same standard' for playoff officiating

Glenn James / National Hockey League / Getty

Edmonton Oilers head coach Kris Knoblauch wants to see more consistency from officials regarding penalty calls in the playoffs compared to the regular season.

"The standard gets changed a little bit," Knoblach said after Saturday's 3-1 loss to the Dallas Stars in Game 2 of the Western Conference Final. "(The NHL) would definitely want to make sure it's a penalty when in the regular season, maybe some things get let go. That's obviously unfortunate for us. We've got a very good power play, and we win a lot of games on the power play.

"It's unfortunate for us that it's tougher to draw penalties in the playoffs than it is in the regular season. That being said, I think the standard is the same for both teams. I'm not saying it's unfair for us, but we would like the same standard."

Edmonton recorded two power plays to Dallas' one in Saturday's Game 2. However, there was a big discrepancy in the series opener as the Stars had five man advantages compared to the Oilers' single chance.

The Oilers have converted 34.9% of their power plays through 14 playoff games this spring. Edmonton's 43 opportunities are the second-most behind only the Florida Panthers.

Leon Draisaitl (12), Connor McDavid (11), and Evan Bouchard (eight) are the top three power-play producers this postseason, but the players are also looking for answers from officials.

"That's a good question, I don't know," McDavid said when asked why the club has struggled to draw penalties in Round 3.

"Great question, I have no idea," said defenseman Mattias Ekholm when answering the same question. "I looked at (teammate) Darnell (Nurse's) penalty today, then five minutes later, I get cross-checked right in the same spot in the paint. But it's hard, it's physical, it's playoff hockey out there. It just seems to be we need to kill more than we get power plays."

Here's the play referenced by Ekholm:

The Stars failed to convert on the opportunity, boosting the Oilers' penalty kill percentage to an impressive 92.7% this postseason.

Game 3 is scheduled for Monday night as the series shifts to Edmonton.