Sunday, April 18, 2010

How the Grinch Almost Stole the Vancouver vs. LA Game

The game: NHL Playoff quarterfinals, Vancouver Canucks vs. LA Kings.

Why I chose it: Duh. See previous entries for details.

Final score: LA 5, Vancouver 4 (in OT).

How LA beat Vancouver: Simple. Anze Kopitar flashing his brilliance with the winning OT goal.

Somehow I don't think this helped: At all home Vancouver games there are two fans dressed like the Grinch in full lime green bodysuits who stand next to the opposing team's penalty box for the sole purpose of taunting the offending player. If I were them, I'd rethink my strategy. 'Cause LA is not backing down. And they are definitely not giving in to Dr. Seuss.

The rule: Section 4, Playing Rules. Rule 450, Offsides.

Definition: 450.a. Players of an attacking team shall not precede the puck into their attacking zone. 450.b. The determining factors in deciding an offside are:

1) The players' skates position: player is offside when both skates are completely over the blue line in his attacking zone before the puck completely crosses the line.

2) The puck position: the puck shall have completely crossed the blue line into the attacking zone.

And for this offense, the following face-off rules apply: 450.c. In violation of this rule, play shall be stopped and a face-off shall be conducted:

1) At the nearest neutral zone face-off spot if the puck was carried over the blue line by the attacking player. There's three more depending on where the offense occurred, but here's the one I don't understand:

3) At the end face-off spot in the defending zone of the offending team if, in the opinion of the Linesman or Referee, a player has intentionally caused an offside. Why would you do this? If you get busted, you lose the advantage. I fear I will never really understand hockey in all its intentional offside, boarding, interference glory. But that's ok...because really, if I did, I'd turn into one of those fans who are one tantrum away from a heart attack. No thanks. I go to games to de-stress, thank you.

Morals of the story:

The game: Ok, just once, I want to see a player do this: Stop at the blue line while in possession of the puck, put one skate over the line and then push the puck past it. Then put the one skate back and stand there. Just to watch the Ref try to figure out how to call it. It would be better than watching the fans who are one bad call away from a total breakdown.

Life: How many times are we all guilty of being offsides in life? Not looking before we leap. Running ahead impetuously without thinking or planning. That's what I did when I charged off to New York in a 1988 Toyota Corolla, with $3000 and a dream. Sounds exciting, right? Wrong. Advice to those who are thinking the same: never leave your hometown without money, without a plan and without backup. Someone should have called an offsides on me the minute I drove across the George Washington bridge and saved me from the city and myself and all the stupid things I did. That being said, here is my advice for avoiding being offsides in life:

1) Don't take that next job just because the one you have now sucks and you want out, even though that next one isn't what you want. And if it's the opposite and the job looks really ideal and has that corner office and nice salary, ask yourself "if it's so great, why did someone leave it?" "Could it possibly be the psycho boss who calls you on your vacations and micromanages you to the point where you have to have your emails and the exact duration of your lunch hour supervised?"

Yes, this happened to me once. Or twice. I was in my early thirties, with a college degree and a fancy job title and all, and my boss actually came out of her office as I was attempting to leave for my legally permitted lunch hour and asked "where do you think you're going?" What was I supposed to say? "Sorry, master, don't look upon my hideousness, I only wanted a morsel of food." Give me a break. I heard a rumor after I quit that she never found another person who was willing to eat her crap all day and eventually they found a reason to fire her. Last I heard, she was working as a "consultant" and her millionaire husband was divorcing her to marry a trophy wife. Translation: She didn't have to work ever again and was in fact spending her divorce settlement money on Botox and dating/financially supporting 25-year old starving artist/waiters.

2) If you've already made the mistake of dating some guy because you figured this was the best you were going to do, and it turns out he was dating his ex-girlfriend who he was planning to go back to all along, don't do it again with a guy who gives off the same red flags.

3) Never give up in the search for a decent apartment, even if it means holding out for a little while where you are. And whatever you do, don't give in and rent one with a view of a brick wall, the neighbor's clutter-ridden backyard and a stove that breaks down every other time you use it because the pilot light blows out and you might as well use it for storage.

Not that these things happened to me in the Big Apple, but if they did....take my advice and heed it well, little dreamers. It's easier to get lost than you think.

Next up on 4/20: Section 4, Playing Rules. Rule 451, Delayed Offside Procedure.

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