Thursday, December 31, 2009

Day 43, Rule 43

The game: Tampa Bay vs. Montreal (broadcast in French).

Why I chose it: Parce que le match est emission en Francais, mais oui. Which means they pronounced the honkin' tall French captain's name properly.

My new French vocabulary: Tirs a but: shots on goal. Match joues: games played. Accroche: hooking.

The rule: Section 6, Physical Fouls. Rule 43, Charging.

Number of sections in the rule: 6.

Definition: 43.1, Charging. A minor or major penalty shall be imposed on a player who skates or jumps into, or charges an opponent in any manner. Charging shall mean the actions of a player who as a result of distance traveled, shall violently check an opponent in any manner. A "charge" may be the result of a check into the boards, into the goal frame or in open ice. This also outlines the differences between when to impose a minor (based on degree of violence of the check), major (based on degree of violence of the check), match (attempted to or deliberately injured opponent) or game misconduct (injury to face or head).

My favorite highlight: I have special affection for netminders, so this one should come as no suprise: A minor, major or a major and a game misconduct shall be imposed on a player who charges a goalkeeper while the goalkeeper is within his goal crease. A goalkeeper is not "fair game" just because he is outside the goal crease area. The appropriate penalty should be assessed in every case where an opposing player makes unnecessary contact with a goalkeeper. However, incidental contact, at the discretion of the Referee, will be permitted when the goalkeeper is in the act of playing the puck outside his goal crease, provided the attacking player has made a reasonable effort to avoid such contact.

The final score: Montreal 2, Tampa Bay 1.

The morals of the story:

The game: This is hockey, so this rule will be violated, repeatedly. The only real question here is how far did the player travel and what constitutes "violent?" Most truly loyal hockey fans will tell you that unless the player is unconscious, bleeding or unable to move, it's not violent, carry on. Most refs appear to agree. On the other hand, you can see from this rule how important netminders are to a team. Charging the goaltender is no more excusable than it is for a player, even if he's "out out of the zone." Think it's too easy on them? Think again. Most teams have two goaltenders. If they got charged with the same frequency and aggression as players, even the backup would be down. Like a rock.

Life: Maybe we don't get physically charged in life, but long before it's done we've all been charged in other ways: divorce, bankruptcy, illness, betrayal, cheating by others in work or life. What if we had referees who put the offenders in a box for two minutes? If your coworker cheats or lies to get ahead, they get to sit in a windowless cube with no decorations or personal items, a Radio Shack computer from 1980 that takes up all of the free desk space and a co-worker in the immediate next door cube who spends all day on her cell phone gossiping about her boyfriend who's just not that into her. If your bank told you a balloon mortagage would be a good idea and you default on the loan, they should be forced to live in your house while it slowly falls apart during foreclosure, sans heat, electricity or running water. Penalty boxes don't exactly stop others from charging, but they do slow down the frequency and there is justice with a small j.

Next up: Section 6, Physical Fouls. Rule 44, Checking from Behind.

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