Friday, November 27, 2009

Day 21, Rule 21

The games: Center Ice is airing a full day of hockey games, every hour on the hour. I've got my eye on Pittsburgh vs. Islanders and Anaheim vs. Chicago. Oohh, and Tampa Bay vs. New York Rangers. It's window shopping, NHL style.

Why I chose them: Some girls get up at 3 am to go shopping. I get up at 9 am to watch hockey.

The rule: Section 4, Types of Penalties. Rule 21, Match Penalties.

Number of sections in the rule: 4.

Definition: There is no BS about this one. A match penalty involves the suspension of a player for the balance of the game and the offender shall be ordered to the dressing room immediately. A match penalty shall be imposed on any player who deliberately attempts to injure or who deliberately injures an opponent in any manner. Infractions that can result in a match penalty include: attempt to injure in any manner, biting, hair pulling, grabbing of the face mask, high sticking, kneeing, slashing, kicking a player or goalkeeper and wearing tape on hands in altercation.

My favorite highlight: 21.2, Short Handed. A substitute player is permitted to replace the penalized player after five (5) minutes playing time has elapsed. The match penalty, plus any additional penalties, shall be served by a player to be designated by the Manager or Coach of the offending team through the playing Captain, such player to take his place in the penalty box immediately. For all match penalties, regardless of when imposed, or prescribed additional penalties, a total of ten minutes shall be charged in the records against the player. In addition to the match penalty, the player shall be automatically suspended from further competition until the Commissioner has ruled on the issue. See also Rule 29 - Supplementary Discipline.

The final scores: Islanders 3, Pittsburgh 2. Anaheim 3, Chicago 0 (at end of second period). Tampa vs. NY Rangers is up next.

Number of match penalties assessed: 0.

The morals of the story:

The games: Fighting is one thing and something most fans expect in the course of a game. But even fans will tell you that deliberately going after another player maliciously is not cool, dude. There is a reason this rule is simple - because there isn't any excuse for doing intentional harm. Not in life and not in hockey.

BUT -- I'm pretty sure they can do away with hair pulling for the 2010-2011 season - if players insist on going retro by wearing a semblance of a mullet, other players are doing them a favor by pulling it out.

Life: If only people who do deliberate harm to others in life could be sent down so easily. Blow the whistle and throw your ass out automatically with no chance of return until a higher authority rules. No trial by jury of peers that takes four years to reach the court while the guilty suspect jumps bail. No getting out on technicalities. No DNA evidence. No defense attorney looking for their fifteen minutes of fame who finds a loophole to get you out of it. Nothing. You do it. You're gone. Game over.

Next up on 11/18: Section 4, Types of Penalties. Rule 22, Misconduct Penalties.

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