Friday, November 6, 2009

Day 7, Rule 7

The game: Anaheim vs. Nashville.

Why I chose it: Jonas Hiller is starting in goal. Anaheim's on the upswing. I think tonight might be the night.

My peeve: I made a commercial break periodically for the Pittsburgh vs. LA game. The broadcasters are making a huge deal out of the Pens' unbeaten road streak. Don't hype it, sillies, you'll jinx it. Sadly my telepathic cursing didn't work and, as I predicted in the silence of my living room, Pittsburgh's unbeaten winning road streak came to an end.

The rule: Section 2, Teams. Rule 7, Starting Line-up.

Number of sections in the rule: 2.

Definition: Aha. So this is the rule that ensures you can't try and gain the advantage by switching the lineup at ice time. Although it sounds like the home team might have a slight advantage, because the visiting team has to submit their line-up to the Official Scorer or Referee first. Then the home team coach or manager, having been advised of the visiting team's line-up, must provide to the Official Scorer the names of their starters. The visitors then get to know who they are facing, and neither team can make changes once the home team's names have been submitted.

My favorite highlight: Rule 7.2, Violation. A bench minor penalty is assessed against the offending team who puts the wrong line-up on the ice, provided it is brought to the referee's attention prior to the second face off in the game. If a team scores on the first shift of the game, and it's brought to the ref's attention by the opposing team that the team that scored didn't have the right starting line-up, the goal is allowed and a bench minor penalty is assessed to the offending team. If the team that scored challenges the starting line-up of the opposing team, and the opposing team did not have the right starting line-up, the scoring of the goal nullifies the bench minor penalty and no further penalty is assessed. Got it? Even if both teams get busted doing this, the goal is still allowed and somebody's still gonna be pissed.

Number of times rule violated: 0.

The final score: Anaheim 4, Nashville 0. Hiller stopped all 40 shots on goal. A comeback with a capital C. It was the night, after all.

Bonus tidbit for novices: A shot on goal is one that enters the goal or one that would have entered the goal if it hadn't been stopped by the goalie.

The morals of the story:

The game: This is the hockey equivalent of the legal technicalities that let criminals escape punishment. If both teams try to sneak a last-minute line-up change onto the ice, and they both get busted, one team's violation cancels the other one's out. Plus, the statue of limitations runs out after the second face-off.

Life: I need my own personal referee. In life, when I try to score goals, I should be able to bring it to the attention of my personal ref, so he can assess a bench minor penalty to whomever or whatever got in the way and screwed up my plans. And the achieving of the goal should then be allowed with no further penalties or obstructions.

Next up on 11/8: Section 2, Teams. Rule 8, Injured Players.

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