Sunday, January 17, 2010

Day 60, Rules 60 and 61

The game: Detroit vs. Chicago.

Why I chose it: It's Sunday, there's hockey in high-def. It's an original six match-up. Enough said.

My peeve, sort of: Both games I was watching last night ended disastrously, but it's a big week in Portland as we bid temporary farewell and best wishes to four players for the prospects game and we welcome Kurtis Mucha back to town. Win or lose, Wednesday night should be very interesting here in the Rose City.

The rules: Section 8, Stick Fouls. Rule 60, High-sticking. Rule 61, Slashing.

Number of sections in the rules: 6 (Rule 60). 8 (Rule 61).

Definitions: 60.1, High-sticking. A "high stick" is one which is carried above the height of the opponent's shoulders. Players must be in control and responsible for their stick. However, a player is permitted accidental contact on an opponent if the act is committed as a normal windup or follow through of a shooting motion, or accidental contact on the opposing center who is bent over during the course of a face-off. A wild swing at a bouncing puck would not be considered a normal windup or follow through and any contact to an opponent above the height of the shoulders shall be penalized accordingly.

61.1, Slashing. Slashing is the act of swinging his stick at an opponent, whether contact is made or not. Non-agressive stick contact to the pant or front of the shin pads, should not be penalized as slashing. Any forceful or powerful chop with the stick on an opponent's body, the opponent's stick, or on or near the opponent's hand that, in the judgment of the Referee, is not at attempt to play the puck, shall be penalized as slashing. Minor penalty is imposed for slashing, and a major is imposed if injury occurs.

My favorite highlights: 60.5, Goals. An apparent goal scored by an attacking player who strikes the puck with his stick carried above the height of the crossbar of the goal frame shall not be allowed. The determining factor is where the puck makes contact with the stick. If the puck makes contact with the stick below the level of the crossbar and enters the goal, this goal shall be allowed. A goal scored by a defending player who strikes the puck with his stick carried above the height of the crossbar of the goal frame shall be allowed.

The final score: Chicago 4, Detroit 3 (SO).

The morals of the story:

The game: So, basically, if you are stupid enough to be behind a guy while he's setting up for a slapshot and you get hit, sorry Charlie. That's hockey. I love this one -- "players must be in control and responsible for their stick." Oh yeah, those are two things that are plentiful supply in the NHL: control and responsibility.

Life: This is the hockey version of "no harm, no foul." It's like, if you take a swing at somebody, no problem as long as you don't land the punch and hurt someone. But in life, we don't get the privilege of no punishment for accidental contact. If we windup and hit somebody in the process, we go down. For example:

-- Offense: Accidentally tapping another car in the parking lot while trying to wedge your SUV into a space meant for a smart car. Penalty: A blemish on your driving/car insurance record and a lot of really lame paperwork.

-- Offense: Reaching across the little table with milk and napkins and plastic stirrers at Starbucks and knocking a $7 latte all over someone else. Penalty: Total embarrassment, being called out and yelled at by the victim of your clutziness and $7 plus that person's dry cleaning bill. Or, if you live in the United States, land of the free and home of the legal loophole, a lawsuit for punitive damages and emotional distress.

Next up on 1/19: Section 8, Stick Fouls. Rule 62, Spearing. Section 9, Other Fouls. Rule 63, Delaying the Game.

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