Friday, March 12, 2010

It Takes More than an Imaginary Line to Measure Up

The games: Pittsburgh vs. New Jersey, Tampa Bay vs. Washington, Portland Winterhawks vs. Chilliwack Bruins (WHL).

Why I chose them: Ummm, let's see, how do I explain this? Oh right... duh.

The rules: Section 2, Teams, Players and Equipment. Rule 250, Puck. Rule 260, Measurement of Equipment.

You can go green if you want to: 250.a, The "Puck" shall be made of vulcanized rubber (same as NHL) or other material approved by the IIHF and be primarily black in color.

Do the math. I dare you: 250.b, The dimensions of the puck shall not exceed:

Diameter - 7.62 cm
Thickness - 2.54 cm
Weight - 156 to 170 gms

Final scores: Tampa Bay 3, Washington 2. Devils 3, Penguins 1. Crap! Chilliwack just scored at 2:38. Oh wait, now we're talking...Taylor Peters just scored. Less than three minutes in and this is a hockey game with a capital H.

What? No imaginary line?: 260.a, The Referee may, at any time and at his own discretion, measure any equipment. 260.b, The Captain of a team may make a formal complaint against a specific dimension of any equipment. The Referee shall make the necessary measurement immediately. However, no goal shall be disallowed as a result of any measurement. Like the NHL, if the complaint is not sustained, the requesting team gets a bench minor. Likewise, if it is, the guilty player is given a bench minor. This differs from the NHL Rulebook in that there is no specification that illegal equipment must be taken to the penalty bench for the remainder of the game.

But if you were thinking you'd outsmart a 5-on-3 Power Play, forget it: 260.d, If a Captain of the team that is two men short in the last two minutes of the game or at any time in overtime, requests an equipment measurement that proves to be legal equipment following the measurement, the Referee shall award to the non-offending team a penalty shot.

Morals of the story:

The game: I want to interview the expert who can tell me how, in a fast game like hockey with all the talent that the NHL is currently hoarding, you'd even know the other team was playing with illegal equipment. I can see it if one guy is scoring a whole lotta' goals without really making an effort... then that's definitely questionable. And, I can see why a team that's already at a disadvantage in a 5-on-3 would take the chance and call the other team out. But why else would you do it? If you're wrong and it's not sustained, the penalty's on you.

Perhaps another pizza thingy with the Winterhawks will reveal all. After all, it only took Ryan Johansen mentioning "scoring chance" for me to get the icing thing. Perhaps after a few slices of pepperoni with extra cheese, I will get it. But since the next pizza thing isn't until well into next season, make a note to check back later, on the off chance I ever figure this one out.

Life: What if, before you left your house every morning, a referee came to your house to be sure you measured up, and if you didn't, you'd be penalized? I'm thinking of things like fashion (or lack thereof), how clean (or not) your car is and whether or not you bothered to make your bed before leaving the house. If we were given a bench minor for such offenses, would we think twice before leaving the house with hair wet from the shower and no makeup? Would we put the ugly dancing Santa holiday sweater down and walk away?

As a grown up Garanimal, I would be so totally busted if we did. I'd never get out of the house. I'd set the League record for bench minor penalties for leaving my bed in disarray, not bothering to blow dry my hair because it's raining outside and what's the point, and wearing questionable fashion ensembles that would cause other people to get into car accidents and text their friends in horror ("OMG. I just saw a woman in shoulder pads, white pantyhose and a green suede handbag with fringe. She's heading towards 3rd and Jefferson.")

The future starts now: I'm off to Seattle tomrrow for the Portland Winterhawks Booster Club bus trip to watch the last regular season game. For the first time in far too long, the best is yet to come as we prepare to enter the playoffs. Home ice advantage has yet to be determined, but if even one game is played in the Rose Garden, it will be one more than last year. Join us if you can. You won't be disappointed.

Next up on 3/14: Section 3, Officials and Their Duties. Rule 300, Appointment of Officials.

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