SAN JOSE — Vancouver Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa slammed Sharks forwards Logan Couture and Joe Thornton on Monday, saying they have shown a "lack of integrity" in the series for what he perceives to be their embellishment of injuries to draw penalties.
The Canucks have taken 21 minor penalties in losing the first three games of the series and need a win Tuesday at HP Pavilion to avoid elimination. Bieksa has six penalty minutes in the series.
"Those are two Canadian guys who are supposed to be playing the game with integrity," Bieksa said Monday after the Canucks practiced at HP Pavilion. "Maybe our team has to do more of that."
"Couture has been snapping his head back. This isn't my opinion. The evidence is in the video," Bieksa continued. "Thornton, another so-called Canadian ... He gets slashed, takes his glove off, shakes his hand."
The comments by Bieksa, who hit Sharks forward Marty Havlat in the groin area with his stick in Game 1, came after the Sharks concluded their media availability for the day.
"With this team, we just need to stay disciplined," Couture said Monday. "The way the series has gone, there's been a lot of penalties after whistles. A lot of head shots. Stuff like that. They have a lot of skilled players on their power play. You don't want to give them opportunities.
Entering Tuesday's Game 4 at HP Pavilion, the Sharks have taken just 10 minor penalties and have allowed just one power play goal to help take a 3-0 series lead. The Canucks have allowed four power play goals, including three in Sunday's 5-2 loss that put them on the brink of elimination.