Monday, November 16, 2009

Day 13, Rule 13

The game: Pittsburgh vs. Anaheim.

Why I chose it: Jonas Hiller was scheduled to start in the net for Anaheim. Evgeni Malkin's back, and on a line with Sidney Crosby. Enough said.

My peeve: My favorite netminder faces off against my favorite team. Major dilemma: I have to pick a side. I'm sticking with Anaheim. They aren't even on their own side right now, so I'm appointing myself in their place. It's like the Miranda laws -- if you cannot afford to play like one team with total confidence, a fan who believes in you will be appointed to you at no charge until you find your game again. Besides, what do they have to lose?

The rule: Section 3, Equipment. Rule 13, Puck.

Number of sections in the rule: 3.

Definition: This outlines the type of rubber from which the puck must be made (vulcanized); the width and weight of the puck (one inch thick and three inches wide, must weigh between 5.5 and 6 ounces); the home team's obligation to maintain an adequate supply of frozen pucks; and the point at which illegal pucks can be removed from the ice (after play in progress is completed by a change in possession). Vulcanized rubber, by the way, is "cured" with chemicals to shape and solidify it, including sulfur, peroxide, urethane or metallic oxides. Just a suggestion for the NHL bigwigs...might want to get on board with that whole green thing for 2010. Just a thought.

My favorite highlight: 13.2, Supply. The home team shall be responsible for providing an adequate supply of official pucks which shall be kept in a frozen condition. This supply of pucks shall be kept at the penalty bench under the control of one of the regular off-ice Officials or a special attendant. Someday when I've had enough of the rat race, I'm applying for the job of special attendant. It's a special honor to be chosen to guard pieces of rubber that are an EPA violation. One I would gladly accept with pride. And a biohazard suit.

The final score: Pittsburgh 5, Anaheim 2. And my boy didn't start in net. Time for Plan B: Tampa Bay vs. Phoenix.

Number of times rule violated: 0.

The morals of the story:

The game: This rule just assumes that the home team will provide the adequate, frozen supply of pucks. What if they run out? What if they're not frozen? This rule has no penalty or subsitution rules for not maintaining an adequate supply, not maintaining them in a frozen state or purposefully running out of pucks to delay the game. Nothing. This assumes the home team will adhere to the honor system and supply the pucks without question or penalty. At last, proof there is fairness in hockey.

Life: I'd love to see this rule instituted for Winter Classic or Super Bowl viewing parties. The host shall provide an adequate supply of beer, which will be maintained at a proper chilled temperature throughout the game and stored in a location convenient to the television. I'd hang out at said events, but let's just say I have a few friends who could use a special attendant to keep the microbrews from running out or defrosting on game day. This is why I watch the Winter Classic alone in pajamas.

Next up on 11/17: Section 3, Equipment. Rule 14, Adjustment to Clothing or Equipment.

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