Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Day 25, Rule 25

The game: Columbus vs. Chicago.

Why I chose it: Tampa Bay's not playing tonight, so I need a different tall, French-speaking player to reluquer. The subsitute: Cristobal Huet. Height: Six feet. Place of birth: Saint-Martin d'Heres, France. Vive la France, especially if they have a save percentage of .911.

The rule: Section 4, Types of Penalties. Rule 25, Penalty Shot.

Number of sections in the rule: 8 sections and 3 1/2 pages.

The quirk: Rule 24 is not in use. Gross misconduct penalties have been reclassified as game misconduct penalties (23.7).

Definition: This rule defines a penalty shot and covers procedure, designated player, violations during the shot, face off locations, results, timing and infractions. A penalty shot is designed to restore a scoring opportunity which was lost as the result of a foul being comitted by the offending team, based on the parameters set out in these rules. The foul/infraction has to be committed in the neutral zone or attacking zone and must have happened from behind.

Check this out from violations (25.4): Should the goalkeeper leave his crease prior to the player taking the penalty shot has touched the puck and in the event of violation of this rule or any foul committed by a goalkeeper, the Referee shall allow the shot to be taken and if the shot fails, he shall permit the penalty shot to be taken over again. When an infraction worthy of a minor penalty is committed by the goalkeeper during the penalty shot that causes the shot to fail, no penalty is to be assessed but the Referee shall permit the shot to be taken over again. Should a goalkeeper commit a second violation during the penalty shot and the shot fails, he shall be assessed a misconduct penalty and the Referee shall permit the penalty shot to be taken over again. A third such violation shall result in the goalkeeper being assessed a game misconduct penalty.

So... no cheating for the goalkeepers, then?

My favorite highlight: 25.2, Procedure. The puck must be kept in motion towards the opponent's goal line and once it is shot, the play shall be considered complete. No goals may be scored on rebounds and any time the puck crosses the goal line or comes to a complete stop, the shot is considered complete. The lacross-like move in whereby the puck is picked up on the blade of the stick and "whipped" into the net shall be permitted provided the puck is not raised above the height of the shoulders at any time and when released, is not carried higher than the crossbar. The spin-o-rama move where the player completes a 360 degree turn as he approaches the goal shall be permitted as this involves continuous motion. No, I didn't make up spin-o-rama. It's in the book.

The final score: Chicago 4, Columbus 3 (in a record-breaking 11-round shootout)

The morals of the story:

The game: Another example of how much harsher the rules are for goaltenders compared to players. Netminders so much as come out of the crease and they are toast. But players can bust a show-off move stolen from figure skating and named for a theme park ride? If players can spin around in a complete circle, shouldn't goalies at least be able to do that thing where dogs walk around in a circle three times before they go to sleep? Oh right, this is hockey. What was I thinking?

Life: Penalty shots restore the balance to an unfair play, and if players try to disrupt the attempt at fairness, they're penalized. Life doesn't let you take a penalty shot if somebody gets in your way. We need to take our cue from the NHL rulebook and lobby legislators for a new law that would award the life equivalent of a penalty shot for the offenses that people commit in order to interrupt others' scoring opportunities. Here are just a few examples:

Offense: cutting someone off in traffic so you can hurry up and get through the green light and cut three other people off en route to the freeway, where you will sit for an hour drinking lukewarm overpriced coffee and being distracted by little electronic devices and wishing you were somewhere else, the same as everyone else. Penalty shot: Switches built into cars so the people who got cut off can automatically engage the offender's emergency brake and keep it locked until at least a mile's worth of traffic has passed him or her.

Offense: increasingly encroaching on people's personal space (also known as "the bubble") so you can get a better spot to stand on the train platform, luggage carousel at the airport or anywhere else you need a tactical space advantage. Penalty shot: All handbags and computer bags will be installed with air bags that inflate instantly when someone gets inside the bubble, thereby knocking them unconscious and preventing others from trying to take their spot.

Offense: Taking credit for another person's work and giving them a bad job review in order to keep them down and promote yourself. Penalty shot: Individual against whom the offense was committed shall be able to hire a private investigator at the company's expense to investigate every dirty little thing the offender ever did (including present crime) and present it in a PowerPoint to company executives, followed by public demotion and/or firing of offender while their underlings feast on Krispy Kreme donuts and plan how they're going to redecorate the offender's office when they move into it.

Next up on 12/2: Section 4, Types of Penalties. Rule 26, Awarded Goals.

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