Thursday, December 17, 2009

Day 36, Rule 36

The games: Pittsburgh vs. Philadelphia, LA vs. Calgary and Anaheim vs. Sharks.

Why I chose them: 1) Duh. 2) Anze Kopitar viewing opportunity and therefore...Duh. 3) Anaheim's back on track and my fave goalie was quite stellar the other night.

My peeve: Duh doesn't translate into French. And...New Jersey just shut out Tampa Bay.

The rule: Section 5, Officials. Rule 36, Penalty Timekeeper.

Number of sections in rule: 8 (General Duties, Equipment, Goalkeeper's Penalties, Penalty Shot, Penalty Time Clock, Reports, Stick Measurements and Verification of Time).

Definition: This covers all the bases on penalty recording, timing, reporting and verification of time. Among the timekeeper's general duties are: keeping a correct record of all penalties assessed by the referees (including player names, penalties assessed, duration of penalty and the time at which penalty occurred); number of times a penalty must be announced over the loudspeaker system (twice); correct posting of penalties on the scoreboard at all times; and having a measuring gauge and tape measure available for Refs to measure sticks (Refs are on their own for the imaginary line - see Day 10, Rule 10).

One of the more interesting examples of reading the penalties twice happens here in Portland, where you will find the announcers at Winterhawks games restating a given penalty by shortening it to state that's Walker "with the trip" or Schneider "with the hook."

My favorite highlights:

Tidbits from 36.1, General Duties: In the event of a dispute regarding the time a penalized player is permitted to return to the ice, the game clock is the determining time clock. In situations where multiple game misconducts have been assessed to any one player at the same stoppage of play, only one game misconduct should be announced. Misconduct penalties and coincident major penalties should not be recorded on the timing device (penalty time clock) but such penalized players should be alerted and released at the first stoppage of play following the expiration of their penalties.

36.5, Penalty Time Clock: In the event that two players from one team and one player from the opposing team are penalized at the same time, the Penalty Timekeeper shall request through the Referees or the offending team's Captain, which penalty they prefer to have on the time device. I love it. A shred of gentlemanly play in one of most ungentlemanly sports in the world. I have an image of a former British butler in a top hat and bow tie asking "which penalty would you prefer, sir, the boarding or the fighting?"

The final scores: Pittsburgh 3, Philadelphia 2 (SO). Calgary 1, LA 0 at the end of the second period. Anaheim vs. Sharks -- scoreless at the end of the first period.

The game: My head hurts. I had to start reading this at lunch to ensure I'd finish this entry before midnight. A math teacher must have invented this rule. It's like the hockey equivalent of those equations where "if two trains leave the station at the same time and one makes three stops for 10 minutes each before proceeding on and one goes two minutes faster than expected, which train will arrive first?" Who gives a crap? They'll both get there one way or another. I'm writing to the NHL to recommend my own addition to this rule: the penalty timekeeper shall be permitted to keep one pharmaceutical drug (prescription or over the counter) and one bottle of scotch under his table for use in those situations where keeping track of penalties damn near makes his head explode.

Life: It's a good thing we don't have penalty timekeepers following us around in life, keeping track of every stupid, shameful, impulsive thing we do, or I'd be on permanent suspension. Here is just a sampling of two things for which I would no doubt be on the penalty clock:

-- Getting slightly drunk in a champagne bar at lunch on my 30th birthday, and after finding that the movie I wanted to see was sold out (at 1 on a Monday!), wandering into the Disney Store on 5th Avenue and complaining to a salesperson because they didn't have adult size Winnie the Pooh slippers with the little built-in night light, which were a key selling point for me, because I might need to get up in the middle of the night and down more alcohol to kill the reality that I was living alone in Manhattan with two quasi-friends and making less than $100,000.

-- Growing out my hair in junior year of high school, so I would have long, thick wavy hair for my senior portrait, and then getting a perm and a layered haircut right before picture day, thinking it would make my hair more wavy and Rapunzel-like. The actual result looked like a poodle after they've been blow-dried at the dog groomers, only without the ribbon. If I stood outside on a windy day, the top part would form little hair-poof horns on either side of my head. Someday when my mother's out of town, I'm sneaking over to her house, raiding the photo albums and the framed picture that she loves and shows off to friends, and burning all the evidence.

Next up on 12/19: Section 5, Officials. Rule 37, Goal Judge.

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