Friday, December 11, 2009

Day 33, Rule 33

The games: Pittsburgh vs. Montreal (12/10) and Tampa Bay vs. Colorado (12/11).

Why I chose them: Stanley Cup champions vs. The Habs. How could you NOT want to watch that one? Tampa Bay vs. Colorado - Honkin' tall French captain AND two of the first round draft picks in one game. Pure bonheur. No, I don't care if the honkin' tall French captain hasn't scored a goal since cavemen discovered how to start a fire - game on and get over it.

My peeve: I love Pittsburgh and I hate to see them lose, but y'all, Montreal's game tying goal in the third period went in, fair and square. Oh right, this is hockey. O non! Ce n'est pas juste, indeed.

The rule: Section 5, Officials. Rule 33, Linesmen.

Number of sections in the rule: 6.

Definition: This rule covers attire and equipment, general duties, face-offs, when to stop play and report and offense to the referee, and what to do when they are unable to continue. I don't see misadventure in here, so apparently the linesmen aren't able to do that.

My favorite highlights: 33.3 General Duties - The Linesmen are generally responsible for violations of off-side (Rule 83) and icing (Rule 81). They may stop play for a variety of other situations as noted in sections 33.4 and 33.5 below. 33.4, Reporting to Referee - among the reasons they may stop play is vii. Double-minor penalty when it is apparent that an injury has resulted from a high-stick that has gone undetected by the Referees. 33.5, Stopping Play. The Linesmen shall stop play for a variety of reasons, including: X. When a goal has been scored that has not been observed by the Referees.

The final scores: Pittsburgh 3, Montreal 2. Colorado 2, Tampa Bay 1 (SO) .

The morals of the story:

The game: So, in addition to wearing an ugly orange arm band that singles you out even more than the stripes, having to report your calls to the referee, taking crap from the players, coaches and managers and being booed by the fans... the linesmen have to get into it with their referees if they see something the other guy didn't? How much more crap can one man take in one game? If I ever do move back to a major NHL city like Vancouver or Montreal, the post-game beer's on me boys. Better yet, pre-game adult beverage is on me. Carry on and ignore the rest of us because we couldn't do your job without the help of self-medication.

Life: Linesmen are the equivalent of middle managers in corporate America. You get to have a certain amount of authority and make your own decisions, but ultimately you have to defer to someone higher on the corporate executive ladder. It sounds like a bummer, but really, how many of us really want to break the glass ceiling? It's lonely at the top and you don't get to be everybody's friend or gossip at the water cooler or call in sick because you just couldn't deal. You have to suck it up, you're nobody's friend and you don't have time to stop at the water cooler, let alone have a personal life. No thanks - the corner office isn't that important to me, I have no interest in being attached at the hip to my cell phone and I like leaving work before midnight.

Next up on 12/12: Section 5, Officials. Rule 34, Official Scorer.

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