Thursday, December 24, 2009

Day 39, Rule 39

The game: Pittsburgh vs. Ottawa.

Why I chose it: To prove my theory that whenever the Pens lose in a spectacular way, like the Brodeur shutout, they roar back with a better-than-ever game. That includes singular players like Evgeni Malkin, who was the subject of a less than flattering headline in the Post-Gazette, "Malkin mired in a slump." He was smart, though, he just owned up. I love what he said about it. "I know my play is not good. I'm going to try the next game. I'm working hard today, tomorrow. It's a tough situation, but it will be alright." It's honest, it's sincere and he did exactly what he said he would.

The final score: Pittsburgh 8, Ottawa 2. Hat trick for Malkin. Theory proven. Slump officially over and done with.

The rule: Section 5, Officials. Rule 39, Video Goal Judge.

Number of sections in the rule: 6.

Definition: As the title implies, this individual is the one who conducts the video review of goals. I always thought it was just the questionable ones, but the general duties section states that that "every goal is to be reviewed by the video goal judge." This rule also outlines reports, situations subject to review (8 - including pucks batted in with the hand or foot, those that are high sticked in and puck in net prior to the net being dislodged), logistics and equipment, and verification of time.

My favorite highlight: 39.2, Goals: Upon making contact with the off-ice official at ice level, the Video Goal Judge should say initially that he is "looking at the play." Once the Video Goal Judge has reviewed the video and confirmed that the goal is valid, he should say that "it is a good goal." If there is a need to expand the review, the Video Goal Judge will advise the off-ice official at ice level and the Public Address Announcer that "the play is under review." The Announcer then announces that "play is under review." When the referee indicates there is to be a video review, all players (with the exception of the goalkeepers, who pretty much have to stay in the crease until pulled for empty net or letting in too many goals) will go to their respective players' bench immediately and failure to do so would result in a game misconduct penalty with a fine to the Coach. Love it - if the player's don't do as instructed, the Coach pays the price for not coralling them. And then they get ripped a new one the next day at practice. Perfect. More rules should be like this one.

Morals of the story:

The game: Fans who get in a bunch about missed scoring chances, penalties not called by the ref, imposing the wrong penalty on a player, disallowed goals and other various unfair infractions can take heart in the following: after almost being halfway through the rulebook, I can tell you that every inch of every game is watched, timed, reviewed and judged. We may not always like a call, but we can take heart in knowing that the officials didn't "phone it in" when making a call.

Life: This is totally like work, when your boss asks "where's that report I asked for yesterday" or "how's that spreadsheet coming?" and you say "I'm on it" to stall for time while you scramble to finish it. Also, I would not want to have a video goal judge in life. It may be a good thing in hockey, but I wouldn't want somebody watching, taping, reviewiewing and making judgments on my every move. On the other hand, perhaps it would have pre-empted a lot of errors in judgment, missed opportunities and poor life choices. It wouldn't be fun or fair, but it would prevent a lot of wasted time and opportunities.

Next up on 12/26: Section 5, Officials. Rule 40, Abuse of Officials.

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