Sunday, January 10, 2010

Day 52, Rules 52 and 53

The game: Portland Winterhawks vs. Chilliwack Bruins.

The final score: Portland 3, Chilliwack 1 (Toast - as predicted, thank you). Luke brought the bling and Nino brought...well, Nino. What else do we need?

My peeve: I think I might have cursed the possibility of a shutout. Somewhere in the second period, I was thinking wow, Ian Curtis is playing really well, how cool would a shutout be? Two seconds later, Chilliwack dinked one in. Oy! Sorry boys, I promise never to even THINK about it again. Still, Ian was the second star of the night, so all's well that ends well.

The rules: Section 6, Physical Fouls. Rule 52, Slew-footing. Rule 53, Throwing Equipment.

Number of sections in rules: 3 (Rule 52), 8 (Rule 53).

Definitions: 52.1, Slew-footing. Slew-footing is the act of a player using his leg or foot to knock or kick an opponent's feet from under him, or pushes an opponent's upper body backward with an arm or elbow, and at the same time with a forward motion of his leg, knocks or kicks the opponent's feet from under him, causing him to fall violently. So basically, the only way this one could have ended up in the rule book is that someone did it a few too many times and they didn't have another rule that covered it.

53.1, Throwing Equipment. A player shall not throw a stick or any other object in any zone. A player who has lost or broken his stick may only receive a stick at his own players' bench or be handed one from a teammate on the ice (see 10.3). 10.3, to refresh, is Broken Stick, Player. Note that a later part of the rule states that penalty shots will be awarded to players who were fouled with thrown equipment while on a breakaway. In other words, this is another "don't even try it" rule. It's like can't exactly hide it, now can you?

Favorite highlights:

In case you're wondering why broken or lost sticks are left on the ice and not tossed aside: 53.2, Minor Penalty. When the player discards the broken portion of a stick or some other object by tossing or shooting it to the side of the ice (and not over the boards) in such a way as will not interfere with play or opposing player, no penalty shall be assessed for doing so. When moving a stick that is not broken, no penalty shall be assessed, as long as it does not interfere with the play and the player who lost said stick is not attempting to retrieve it, otherwise an interference penalty must be assessed. A minor penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct plus a game misconduct penalty shall be imposed on a player who throws his stick or any part thereof or any other object or piece of equipment outside the playing area in protest of an official's decision. And:

53.4, Misconduct or Game Misconduct Penalty: A misconduct penalty shall be imposed on any player who unintentionally or accidentally throws his stick or any part thereof or any other object or piece of equipment outside the playing area.

Morals of the story:

The game: This is some tricky business, this one. Throw a stick on purpose and you're penalized. Simple enough. But why the penalty for unintentional or accidental? Because what if it wasn't? What if the person did it on purpose and tried to make it look like an accident? As dangerous as it may seem for a stick to be on the ice during play, it's also dangerous to throw it off the ice, because a player, coach or manager could get injured. Look at what happened to Patrice LeClair when he was just sitting on the Montreal bench. A puck went flying off the ice and hit him smack in the face. Not even doing anything and off he went to the ER.

Life: Let's face it, we've all probably done this in life or had it done to us in some way. For example, I'm sure one or two of these will look familiar to you: The driver who cuts us off in traffic, causing a rear end collision for which we are then blamed. The company that hires an outsider for that promotion to which you were entitled and worked for, just because somebody knows somebody or he/she was a sought after professional commodity. The slightly wealthier couple who outbids you on the dream house at the 11th hour with an offer the owner couldn't refuse. A teacher who decided you were just a little too smart and gave you a D just because he could.

I believe a minor penalty is in order for such offenses, as follows:

Minor penalty and game misconduct for bad drivers in the form of being stripped of your license for a minimum of one year (depending on the severity of the offense), being blacklisted on car rental databases, insurance records and used car "dont sell" lists or anywhere else where you might try to sneak by and drive, a bus pass which will be sold to you at double the fee to remind you of your offense on a regular basis, and commuting on a bus route where the bus only comes every 45 minutes and if you miss that 7:52, you'll be late for work with no other way to get there but a $75 cab ride.

Major penalty for "corporate raider" types in the form of an office that has one flourescent light bulb that flickers constantly because the repair guy can never seem to fix it, heat and air conditioning that fail about every other day so you're either hot in summer or cold in winter, an email and online " big brother" feature that sends a note directly to the CEO everytime you try to do a little online shopping or fantasy football instead of your job, which you really don't know how to do anyway since you schmoozed your way to the top with a degree mommy and daddy bought you even when you got crap grades and didn't actually learn anything.

Game misconduct for teachers who willfully interfere in the education of students who are smarter than them, in the form of permanent exile to the most deserted part of Eastern Oregon (or similar area in your state, country, county), where you will be relegated to living in a double-wide that has a television with two channels, if you're lucky, one of which broadcasts the state's annual spelling bee, so that you can watch while said student proceeds to win while spelling the words for which you gave them the D, claiming they were "grammatical errors."
Up next on 1/11: Section 7, Restraining Fouls. Rules 54 and 55, Holding and Hooking.

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