Thursday, March 18, 2010

Ladies and Gentlemen, Presenting the Linesman's Version of the Game

The games: Pittsburgh vs. Boston, Tampa Bay vs. Buffalo.

Why I chose them: I would not want to be the team that plays Pittsburgh after a brutal loss like the one last night in Jersey. And I was right. Pittsburgh blanked the Bruins 3 - 0. Oh double crap! Tampa just ate it against Buffalo: final score Sabres 5, Lightning 2.

Favorite play: One night after being pulled from Devils game, goalkeeper Marc-Andre Fleury got his first shutout of the season.

Back on the home front: In exactly 48 hours, Portland Winterhawks fans will be knee-deep in the team's first playoff game in four years, on our home ice. Spokane Chiefs are up first in a best of 7 series that begins Saturday at 7 pm in the Rose Garden. Now, what to say about this one...oh right...the Chiefs are TOOOAASSSTT! Look for a full-on pre-playoff extravaganza in tomorrow's entry, complete with my top ten super cool things about this season.

The rule: Section 2, Officials and Their Duties. Rule 4.7 Linesman Duties, A 4.10, Two Official System, Referees Duties During the Game.

Highlights: The linesman appear to have more duties than the Referees, at least on paper. Plus, they have to present their version of an infraction or offense if requested by the Ref to do so. Among the Linesman's duties are blowing the whistle for any infraction of the rules concerning:

-- Offsides.
-- Icing.
-- Puck out of bounds, unplayable or interfered by an ineligible person.
-- Encroachments occurring during a face-off.
-- Injured players.
-- High sticking the puck.

Also: The Linesman shall only blow the whistle and report to the Referees penalties concerning:

1. Too many players on the ice.
2. Sticks or anything thrown on the ice from the vicinity of the players' or penalty benches.

And finally: When requested to report to the Referee, the Linesman shall immediately give his version of the circumstances with respect to deliberately displacing the goal from its normal position.

He shall immediately give his version in case of:

1. Bench minor penalties.
2. Major penalties.
3. Misconduct penalties.
4. Game misconduct penalties.
5. Match penalties.

Morals of the story:

The game: The Linesmen get all of the work and none of the glory. They're not really in charge of the game and decisions and rulings about penalties, goals or any other activity. Plus, they have to tell the Ref right to his face "no, dude you were wrong, it wasn't boarding, the player being hit put himself in a vulnerable position." Kind of like being asked to rat out your co-workers in the office with your version of who's really responsible for that screw up on a press release.

Life: I want my own personal Linesman, who will escort me everywhere during normal business hours for the purpose of giving his version of penalties involving my life, which of course will always put me in the right and expose other people's wrongdoing. These will include:

-- Explaining to the authorities why I had to get out of my car and stop traffic to have words with the driver behind me to let him know that in fact, tailgating me and turning on your brights periodically will not make me go faster and get a speeding ticket on my impeccable driving record just because you didn't set your alarm this morning.

-- Apologizing on my behalf to the fashion police for my lack of fashion sense, my even greater lack of interest in makeup, nail polish or hair curlers and promising to them that I will never again leave the house with wet hair and unfiled nails.

-- Pointing out to any man I even consider dating that the following criteria will apply: no second date if you ask me how tall I am and tell me I would look better in flat shoes instead of the four inch heels that put me pretty near 6 feet tall; no further dates whatsoever if you think because I choose to be single and childless that it means I'm totally casual and non-committal too and I won't mind if you sleep with me for sport or cheat on me and finally; of course, anyone who is not himself his own personal 24/7 hockey channel -- for him, no dates at all, no second chances, no nothing. Into the circular life file with you dude.

Next up on 3/19: Excuse me in advance while I digress into an all-Portland Winterhawks entry of positively giddy and thoroughly unbridled pre-playoff hysteria.

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