Sunday, January 24, 2010

Day 68, Rules 68 and 69

The games: Pittsburgh vs. Philadelphia. Portland Winterhawks vs. Vancouver Giants.

Why I chose them: I've committed myself to an all-hockey, all-the-time, four-day weekend. I have to either be there, be watching it or be listening to it. Or, in the case of tomorrow night's Booster Club Stark Street Pizza Night with the players, meeting it.

The rules: Section 9, Other Fouls. Rule 68, Illegal Substitution. Rule 69, Interference on the Goaltender.

Number of sections in the rules: 6 (Rule 68). 7 (Rule 69).


68.1, Illegal Subsitution. An illegal substitution shall be deemed to have occurred when a player enters the game illegally from either the players' bench (teammate not within the five (5) foot limit - refer to Rule 74, Too Many Men on the Ice), from the penalty bench (penalty has not yet expired), when a major penalty is being served and the replacement player does not return to the ice from the penalty bench (see 68.2), or when a player illegally enters the game for the sole purpose of preventing an opposing player from scoring on a breakaway (68.3 and 68.4). If you do enter and try to stop a breakaway, the player you tried to stop is awarded a penalty shot. Players who receive a major and misconduct or game misconduct at the same time or if a penalized player gets injured and can't play, no player but their substitute may enter the game and he must do so from the penalty bench.

69.1, Interference on the Goalkeeper. This rule is based on the premise that an attacking player's position, whether inside or outside the crease, should not, by itself, determine whether a goal should be allowed or disallowed. In other words, goals scored while attacking players are standing in the crease may, in appropriate circumstances be allowed. It goes on to say that the overriding rationale of this rule is that a goalkeeper should have the ability to move freely within his goal crease without being hindered by the actions of an attacking player. If an attacking player enters the crease and, by his actions, impairs the goalkeeper's ability to defend his goal, and a goal is scored, the goal is disallowed.

My favorite highlights: Like all rules that apply to the goaltender, the interference rule is long and complicated. The most detailed part of this rule defines the reasons for which goals are disallowed, which include the following:

-- an attacking player by positioning or contact, interferes with the goalie's ability to move freely within his crease or defend his goal.

-- an attacking player makes intentional or deliberate contact with the goalkeeper inside or outside the crease. If the contact is incidental and occurs ouside the crease and the player made every effort to avoid contact, the goal is allowed.

-- if a goalkeeper, while in the act of establishing position within his goal crease, makes contact with an attacking player and this results in an impairment of the goalkeeper's ability to defend his goal.

-- if, after any contact by a goalkeeper who is attempting to establish position in his goal crease, the attacking player does not immediately give ground to the goalkeeper.

-- if an attacking player establishes a significant position within the crease so as the obstruct the goalkeeper's vision, and impair his ability to defend his goal. Significant position is when a player is within the goal crease for more than an instantaneous period of time.

The rule in action: The officials are just waved off a Vancouver Giants' goal for goaltender interference. No penalty was imposed.

The final scores: Pittsburgh 2, Philadelphia 1. Portland 3, Vancouver 1. It was the Winterhawks' first win against Vancouver in three years, ending a 13-game losing streak against the Giants.

Morals of the story:

The game: Don't screw with the goaltender, accidentally or otherwise. And if you are the goaltender, stay where you are, dude. As for the illegal substitution, do the math. How does a team get away with that one? There are four guys on the ice, a goal judge, a video goal judge, a penalty timekeeper and a real-time scorer watching, not to mention the network or Comcast broadcasters who can provide video footage. You can try it, but beware of the NHL version of big brother watching you.

Life: Why don't we have the goalkeeper interference rule in life? If we are defending our homes, working hard to keep our jobs, driving safely so as to protect ourselves and others, we should be able to do so unhindered. Here are a few things for which I would impose an "Interference on the Goalkeeper" penalty:

-- Offense: Establishing position in the neighbor's yard by letting your dog go poo and then not picking up after him, blockading his driveway by parking in front of it or by getting drunk at his Christmas party and passing out in the guest bathroom. Penalty: No future invites to the holiday party; removal of your vehicle by a tow truck, which will then double park it next to the cop car that belongs to a different neighbor, leaving you to explain yourself to said authority; and retaliation at the neighbor's discretion in the form of his dog peeing on your prize-winning tomato plants, taking a weed whacker to your rose bush or other punishment of the neighbor's choosing.

-- Offense: Interfering with a work colleague's ability to do their job and complete a project by "stopping the presses" on a nearly-completed project at the 11th hour just because you can. Penalty: Everyday you come into work, for the first three hours (at a minimum), everyone else will be permitted to enter your office every 30 seconds unannounced with a project that must be completed ASAP, guaranteeing you'll never get it done, you'll get reprimanded by higher ups for "not delivering on promises for deliverable timelines" and you will be put on probation while said colleague finishes previous project and gets promoted to that office you've been coveting because it has a view of the hot 25-year-old tenant in the building across the street.

Next up on 1/25: Section 9, Other Fouls. Rule 70, Leaving the Bench.

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