Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Day 26, Rule 26

The game: Tampa Bay vs. Boston.

Why I chose it: Duh. Honkin' tall French captain and even taller and equally easy on the eyes D-man Zdeno Chara in one game. It's picnic time for grown up teddy bears.

My peeve: In the wake of suspensions, injuries and fines, players are busting the cliches again. The latest is "we just have to play our game." What, exactly, is your game? Is it scoring goals and avoiding penalties? Or perhaps racking up penalties in pursuit of keeping the other guys from scoring? Do tell. Because if it's what's going on out there right now (check out Florida Panthers' d-man Keith Ballard slashing his own goalie in the ear in an act of anger), I'd suggest playing someone else's game.

The rule: Section 4, Types of Penalties. Rule 26, Awarded Goals.

Number of sections in the rule: 4.

Definition: This is really just an extension of Rule 25. Awarded Goals are those that are awarded to teams who have an infraction committed against them while taking a penalty shot. 26.1 Awarded Goal states that "a goal will be awarded to the attacking team when the opposing team has taken their goalkeeper off the ice and an attacking player has possession and control of the puck in the neutral zone or attacking zone, without a defending player between himself and the opposing goal and he is prevented from scoring as a result of an infraction committed by the defending team. Infractions that result in an awarded goal being awarded when the goalkeeper has been removed for an extra attacker include: delaying the game, handling the puck, illegal substitution, interference, throwing stick and leaving the players or penalty bench.

My favorite highlight: 26.4, Infractions - During the Course of a Penalty Shot. A goal will be awarded when a goalkeeper attempts to stop a penalty shot by throwing his stick or any other object at the player taking the shot or by deliberately dislodging the goal.

The final score: Boston 4, Tampa Bay 1.

Number of goals awarded for infractions: 0.

The morals of the story:

The game: Most of the infractions for which goals are awarded are obvious, especially the one about throwing objects at the player or dislodging the goal. It's like robbing a bank without a gun or a ski mask. Get it over with and just turn yourself in already. Better yet, don't do it at all.

Life: If only life were as fair as this rule. If you cheat in an obvious way to prevent a goal, the team taking a shot gets it anyway to punish you for being a twit. I'm sure we'd all like to get a few awarded goals for the people who interfered with our attempt to score a goal. Here's my short list:

Infraction: My parents moving in my senior year of high school, just as I finally found a competitive sport I was good at and started dating one of the star players on the basketball team in the makings of a cool summer romance. Awarded goal: free trip in a top-secret NASA time machine to stop my father's employer from transferring him.

Infraction: One of my friends inviting the boy I liked to the prom, the same day she knew I was going to ask him. Awarded goal: Either instantaneous empowerment with telekinesis a la Brian De Palma's horror classic "Carrie" so I could extract my revenge at said event OR guaranteed date of my choosing from the water polo team that he played on, who would have made ample substitutes.

Infraction: Dating a rocket scientist for a whole summer when I was 30 and actually thinking he might actually like me until he announced that he wanted a serious relationship with someone but not me and went back to living with his ex-girlfriend. Awarded goal: Already happened. The next summer I ran into him in Union Square and he was totally bald, bored at his job and unhappy in the relationship. What goes around comes around and sometimes it comes around the corner at lunch, carrying a Duane Reade bag full of Rogaine and Advil.

Next up on 12/4: Section 4, Types of Penalties. Rule 27, Delayed Penalties.

1 comment:

  1. Go Boston Bruins! I have to be the only Idahoan who has the B's as my favorite team. Sorry we whipped up on your Lightning last night.