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Your Call: What role should integrity play in the playoffs?

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TSN.ca Staff
5/9/2011 11:08:48 AM
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'Winning isn't everything, it's the only thing.'

'If you aren't cheating, you aren't trying.'

Those are just two sayings people use to justify bending the rules over the course of a contest or a season with the idea that the final goal is most important and any path taken to get there can be justified.

But would you want the team you cheer for to win at all costs?

Vancouver Canucks defenceman Kevin Bieksa might disagree with that premise. Over the course of the second round series between the Canucks and the Nashville Predators, many of Bieksa's teammates have been accused of play acting or faking hurt in order to draw penalties.

Ryan Kesler, for example, was accused of 'chicken-winging' Shea Weber's stick and was able to earn a hooking penalty on his opponent. Goaltender Roberto Luongo was accused of pretending to be clipped by Jerred Smithson's stick and Maxim Lapierre was also caught on camera faking contact.

"When Smithson got the penalty he just moved his stick over Luongo," said Nashville coach Barry Trotz. "All of a sudden, his stick goes to the other side, (Luongo's) head kicks back and he gets a penalty. To me, as I said in the last series, that's gamesmanship and I understand that.

"But it's also putting the referees in a tough spot. We have the best referees and if you are going to make them look bad I don't think that's needed in the game."

Bieksa, speaking to a Vancouver newspaper, warned his teammates that while they are playing by the rules, there should be more honour in victory.

"It's not cheating," Bieksa told the Vancouver Province. "It's within the rules and if the referee wants to assess it, he can penalize you for it. It's not cheating but it is a matter of integrity."

Let us know where you stand.

Is it more important to you that the players you cheer for play 'the right way' or would you rather celebrate a championship no matter the means it takes to get there? And would a title be tarnished if the players on the team you support bent the rules in order to go all the way?

Share your thoughts below and as always, It's Your! Call.

Kevin Bieksa (Photo: Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)

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(Photo: Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)
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