Saturday, November 21, 2009

Day 16, Rule 16

The games: Tampa Bay vs. Carolina, Pittsburgh vs. Atlanta, Anaheim vs. San Jose.

Why I chose them: Honkin' tall French captain, Stanley Cup Champions and Swiss goalie all in action in one night. Mais, oui.

My peeve: I didn't realize until I read this rule how many penalties go uncalled every night in nearly every game.

Bonus peeve: I don't see an infraction in this rule book for NOT calling penalties.

My favorite play: Atlanta scoring the second goal with 18 seconds to go in the third.

The quirk: If only Tampa Bay had scored another goal, the scores would have been the same in all three games.

The rule: Section 4, Types of Penalties. Rule 16, Minor Penalties.

Number of sections in the rule: 3.

Definition: This defines how long a player is ruled off the ice for minor penalties (2 minutes), what short handed means, minor penalty expiration criteria and the list of infractions. My favorite lesson is that short handed only applies if a team has fewer men on the bench than their opponents. This is the part where I admit I thought a short handed goal was one where you scored without an assist. Well, that's what it looked like on TV.

There are 27 infractions for which a minor penalty is imposed, each of which has its own rule. These include: boarding (Rule 42), cross-checking (Rule 59), delay of game (Rule 63), holding (Rule 54), hooking (Rule 55), instigator (Rule 47) and roughing (Rule 51).

My favorite highlight: 16.2, Short Handed. "Short handed" means that the team must be below the numerical strength of its opponent on the ice at the time the goal is scored. The minor or bench minor penalty which terminates automatically is the one with the least amount of time on the clock. Thus coincident minor penalties to both Teams do not cause either to be "short handed" (see Rule 19). If while a team is "short handed" by one or more minor or bench minor penalties, the opposing team scores a goal, the first of such penalties shall automatically terminate.

The final scores: Carolina 3, Tampa Bay 1. Pittsburgh 3, Atlanta 2. San Jose 3, Anaheim 2.

Number of minor penalties: Tampa/Carolina: 9. Pittsburgh/Atlanta: 6. San Jose/Anaheim: 11.

The morals of the story:

The game: Ah. I get it now. If you're short-handed and you score, all the more impressive. And, if the other team scores, well... at least the penalty is erased. In life if you did things like roughing, hooking, holding or boarding to a total stranger you'd go to jail. The penalty bench is the hockey equivalent of prison. And scoring against a short handed team is the equivalent of a jail break.

Life: We need this rule for the minor penalties we commit in life. If you have committed a minor penalty in the past five years that is still affecting your life choices, you shall be ruled out of everyday life for a minimum of six months to rethink some things, thus leaving your friends and family short handed. If someone among these individuals does something that redeems you in your place, your penalty is automatically removed from the clock and you are allowed to return to your regularly scheduled life.

Aforementioned penalties include, but are not limited to: breaking up with your boyfriend/girlfriend because you thought you could do better only to realize that was as good as it gets, remodeling your own kitchen when you probably should have let a contractor do it, scraping the car next to you while parking and not leaving a note for them and calling in sick on a Monday because you "just couldn't deal."

Next up on 11/22: Section 4, Types of Penalties. Rule 17, Bench Minor Penalties.

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