The Red Wings were responsible for losing this series. A Stanley Cup-bound team overcomes any obstacle they face and wins the series regardless. In fact, I think even if the officiating was more balanced tonight, the Red Wings still would have lost because the Sharks were simply better. However, calling a spade a spade, the refereeing over the course of this series was very one-sided in favor of the Sharks.
Statements like those made in this thread aren't meant to take away from the Sharks. In order to draw penalties, a team has to keep control of the puck, keep their feet moving, and yes, even sell calls whenever possible. Every team in the league does it. Most any team that wins a 'Cup experiences a little bit of luck en route, and I think the Sharks had a good deal of luck with the officiating, some of the bounces, missed calls, etc. But I will repeat: they were the better team.
Regarding the first bolded portion; it's a tired cliche. Of course, by default, the team that wins the Cup overcomes whatever obstacles they had to face, but that does not mean they could have overcome any obstacle. It just means they were fortunate enough not to face anything they couldn't.
Reverse the calls in game 2. I don't mean make them even, I mean call the game in our favor. Call all the dives on SJ. Miss the penalties on Kronwall and Flip and Cleary. Could the Sharks still have won that game? I doubt it. If Murray and Vlasic (I think) had been given majors and thrown out of the game, could the Sharks have won? Call the Sharks for knocking down Cleary in the crease in OT in game 3 would we have scored? In game one, call Setoguchi for diving, and miss the other call that gave them the 5 on 3. Do the Sharks still win?
Do all that and I think we win 4-1, and the Sharks have a legit complaint about the refs. Wouldn't change anything about how we played or they played. Wouldn't make us any better or them any worse. Things went the Sharks way this series. They weren't better by any significant margin. They weren't more resilient. They just benefitted from the breaks in a pretty evenly played series.
For the second part, something needs to be said for the principle of good sportsmanship. I know diving, embellishing, pleading for calls, etc is prevalent in most sports. But there is something wrong with the mentality that says this is ok. The 'if you're not cheating you're not trying', win at all costs philosophy needs to go. Selling calls and diving should be one of the harshest penalties. Just below blatant recklessness.
Sure, Draper's career would be over. Mule would spend a lot of time in the box until he learned his lesson. But the game would be better for it. The game would be much better if players tried to make plays as hard as they sometimes try to draw calls.
Make diving/embellishing nullify the original penalty (if there was one). Give the PP to the other team. Misconduct to the offending player if there was no original penalty. Keep track of the divers, and suspend repeat offenders. 3 dives by one team in one game; eject the coach, fine the team, and take a goal away from the offending team (or give one to the other team if the offenders don't have any).