Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Day 71, Rules 71 and 72

The game: I came home and started watching the Anaheim vs. Washington game, but I caught it right as the Capitals were scoring 4 goals in like, 11 seconds. Plus, they were giving my favorite goalie the night off. So I'm waiting for a replay of Montreal vs. Tampa Bay.

Why I chose it: Honkin' tall French-speaking captain and more honkin' tall French speaking players on the same ice. I'm in.

But we don't need to leave Portland to watch an Anaheim Duck in action: the Ducks sent Luca Sbisa back to Lethbridge to finish out the season with his junior team. He got traded to the Portland Winterhawks and he arrived in the Rose City yesterday, sans hockey gear. Word is that he may hit the ice for the Winterhawks this weekend. If you live in Portland, may I suggest you join us: Saturday night, 7 pm, Rose Garden.

The rules: Section 9, Other Fouls. Rule 71, Premature Substitution. Rule 72, Refusing to Play the Puck.

Number of sections in the rules: 2 (Rule 71). 5 (Rule 72).


71.1, Premature Substitution. When a goalkeeper leaves his goal area and proceeds to his players' bench for the purpose of substituting another player, the skater cannot enter the playing surface before the goalkeeper is within five feet (5') of the bench. If the substitution is made prematurely, the official shall stop play immediately unless the non-offending team has possession of the puck -- in which event the stoppage will be delayed until the puck changes possession.

72.1, Refusing or Abstaining from Playing the Puck. The purpose of this section is to enforce continuous action and both Referees and Linesmen should interpret and apply the rule to produce this result. So, this rule encourages the officials to "produce a result" eh? Sounds a little suspicious to me.

My favorite highlights: Second half of 71.1. There shall be no time penalty to the team making the premature substitution, but the resulting face-off will take place at the center ice face-off spot when play is stopped beyond the center red line. When player is stopped prior to the center red line, the resulting face-off shall be conducted at the nearest face-off spot in the zone where the play was stopped.

72.2, Hand Pass. When a hand pass has been initiated by one player to a teammate and the teammate elects not to play the puck to avoid the stoppage of play, and the opposing team also abstains from playing the puck (perhaps to allow time to expire on a penalty), the Referee shall stop the play and order the resulting face-off at the nearest face-off location to where the play was stopped for this violation. The rule is nearly identical when a player does the same thing with a high stick.

The final score: Tampa Bay Lightning 3, Montreal Canadiens 0. I believe the French translation is jeu blanc or blanchissage.

Morals of the story:

The game: I think the verbiage says it all: "perhaps to allow time to expire on a penalty." It sounds like cops trying to untangle a murder mystery on "Law and Order." This tells me the officials know what players are up to and they aren't going to take any excuses. On the other hand, both teams have to be guilty of the same crime at the same time and what are the chances of that happening?

Life: Premature substitution is like the unspoken law that you really shouldn't go through the yellow light if you're within a certain distance and can stop reasonably. One split second and you're guilty of running a light. Or better, if you're cheating on the significant other, it would mean you need to dump the mistress/lover before you are within 100 yards of your home and could be seen by the wife/husband/partner. Hey, here's a novel idea: Don't speed up at the yellow light to try and make it and don't cheat on the other person. Some rules are meant to be broken; this isn't one of them. Refusing to play the's everywhere in life. Here are just a few examples you may have seen recently:

Corporate America - when two executives both refuse to take accountability for a bad judgment call that cost the company millions, and they get away with it because they are both just smart enough not to have put it in an email, a memo a Facebook page, or a Twitter feed.

Drivers who sit at a green light, finally go just at the tail end, thus leaving space between both the drivers ahead who already went through and everyone they left behind at the light.

People who are worried the person behind them in Starbucks will get the last doughnut in the little glass case, so they delay by pretending to be unsure about what they want in the grande, non-fat, no whip, sugar-free Hazelnut decaf latte they order every morning, but "while I'm deciding on that, I do know I want that chocolate doughnut."

My penalty: Permanent banishment to a one-gas-station town in Nevada or Arizona (whichever is running out of water faster), where you will get to do nothing but eat chocolate doughnuts every day, three times a day, drive to work through 7 stoplights that only let one car through and that's the one in front of you, and no chance of promotion to a job beyond "specialist," thus ensuring that you will be the only person harmed by your stupidity and overall lack of good judgment and moral fortitude.

Next up on 1/28: Section 9, Other Fouls. Rule 73, Refusing to Start Play.

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