Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Day 47, Rules 48 and 49

The game: IIHF World Junior Championship, Gold Medal Game, US vs. Canada.

Why I chose it: Portland Winterhawk Luke Walker is on the roster, and the US has the chance to break Canada's spell over this tournament.

The payoff: We broke it. Final score: US 6, Canada 5 in OT. We almost lost it after giving up a two goal lead in the last two minutes. Emphasis on almost.

Note for Portland Winterhawks fans and non-fans alike: Saturday night, 7 pm, the conquering heroes return. Luke brings the bling, and Nino brings newfound fame and fourth place for Switzerland in the WJC, where he was also named to the all-star team. And don't forget Ty Rattie and Tyler Wotherspoon with a solid fourth place showing in the under-17 World Challenge. We are proud to say they call our home their home, even if just for a few years. It's Saturday night in the Rose Garden and all Winterhawks will be present and accounted for and towing shiny things and strong finishes in world tournaments. Visitors the Chiliwack Bruins are toast. Period. Exclamation point.

The rules: Section 6, Physical Fouls. Rule 48, Head-butting. Rule 49, Kicking.

Number of sections in the rules: 6 (Rule 48), 4 (Rule 49).

Definitions: 48.1, Head-butting. The act of head-butting involves a player making intentional contact, or attempting to make contact, with an opponent by leading with his head and/or helmet. Minor for attempting, major for doing, match for injury and game misconduct for someone who gets a major. 49.1, Kicking. The action of a player deliberately using his skate(s) with a kicking motion to propel the puck or to contact an opponent. Match penalty for any player who kicks or attempts to kick another player.

My favorite highlight: 49.2, Goals. Kicking the puck shall be permitted in all zones. A goal cannot be scored by an attacking player who uses a distinct kicking motion to propel the puck into the net. A goal cannot be scored by an attacking player who kicks a puck that deflects into the net off any player, goalkeeper or official.

A puck that deflects into the net off an attacking player's skate who does not use a distinct kicking motion is a legitimate goal. A puck that is directed into the net by an attacking player's skate shall be a legitimate goal as long as no distinct kicking motion is evident.

A goal cannot be scored by an attacking player who kicks any equipment (stick, glove, helmet, etc.) at the puck, including kicking the blade of his own stick, causing the puck to cross the goal line. A five minute match penalty is imposed on players, whether or not injury results from kicking a player.

Morals of the story:

The game: The key here is "distinct kicking motion" and no kicking other players. BUT if you previously studied theatre and dance because you thought it would be a good way to meet girls and and learned a few moves that enable you to kick a puck without the distinct motion...dude, share with your teammates. Not that you want to make a habit of it, because kicking the puck is pretty much a cop-out. But let's face it, players should be armed with all possible weapons in the event of a goal-scoring emergency, such as during overtimes with one minute to go and the whole dumping it into the net the manly way with your stick isn't working.

Life: It's the opposite of life, in a way. We frown upon people who just get lucky in life and don't have to work and struggle a little to earn what they have and get to the top. Kicking your way to the goal is not only allowed, it's expected. I could never be the commissioner of life if kicking was against the rules, because I'd punish the people who just get the lucky bounce and reward the people who scratched and clawed their way to the top. You know who I'm talking about: the woman who's never had a guy cheat on her with her best friend, the men who never have stains on their tie or a scratch on their midlife crisis car, the executive who got the top without actually working because his or her parents bought the Ivy League degree that put them there.

In my rule book, there would be one punishment for those who are just a little too lucky: lifetime match penalty consisting of a "groundhog day"of bad luck in which you wake up every day to the same day, which will start with you spilling coffee on the newly dry cleaned Chanel suit, your vehicle breaking down just before you get to the home stretch of your morning commute, and proceed to a mid-day PowerPoint meltdown during a major meeting with a client, riding the bus with riff raff to the car repair shop, finding out that the credit card you were going to use to pay for the repair is maxed out and ending in a $60 cab ride home, where you discover that you left your housekey on the car key chain, which the auto shop is holding hostage along with your vehicle.

Next up on 1/8/10: Section 6, Physical Fouls. Rules 50 and 51, Kneeing and Roughing.

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