Monday, April 26, 2010

I Hereby Declare That Phoenix Shall Be Propelled Into the Second Round of the Playoffs

The game: Nashville vs. Chicago. Montreal vs. Washington.

So maybe the Predators aren't a rat-squat team after all: I mean, they did have the good sense to acquire Shea Weber, but how in the flip are they only one goal behind Chicago at the end of the second period? It boggles the mind.

On the other hand: I definitely owe my friend Mike a beer. Or two. San Jose and LA are out. Buffalo was just ousted by Boston. But I'm still all in for Montreal taking the Capitals out, especially now that they have forced a Game 7. Vous allez, garcons.

And I'm still all in for Chicago vs. Pittsburgh in the final: So far, so good. Chicago just took out the Predators, and as a result, they will get a second round rematch with Vancouver. Note to self: Get a hold of playoff tickets and take weekend trip to Vancouver to view said game (s).

Speaking of unlikely outcomes: take Detroit out of these playoffs, if you would please. They've won enough Stanley Cups and gotten into enough playoff finals, thank you.

But I am a little sad for New Jersey: Because I love Zach Parise. He's definitely going on my personal NHL Cutie Pie Watch List. I love the story about how when he was little he would go to bed early because that's what NHL athletes did. I don't know if he does that anymore, but it's a good story.

And finally, back on the WHL playoff front: Thank you Tri-City Americans for taking the Vancouver Giants out of the picture. Now mind, come fall the Americans will once again return to their rightful place as one of the Portland Winterhawks' arch rivals. But for now, thank you for defeating the Giants, who simply had to go...and good luck.

Now, on with the rule: Section 4, Playing Rules. Rule 472, Goal and Assist Awarded to the Player.

472.a. A "Goal" shall be credited to in the scoring records to the player who propelled the puck into the opponent's net. I love it. Propelled sounds like a rocket scientist scored the goal. Let's face it, hockey players are big, young and beautiful, but rocket scientists they are not.

472.c. When a goal has been scored, an "Assist" shall be credited to the player(s) taking part in the play immediately preceding the action. In the NHL Rulebook, this is simply the last player to touch the puck prior to the player who scored the goal. But of course this is hockey Euro style, so, mais oui, il son tres jolie.

Morals of the story:

The game: This rule begs the question...what matters more, the number of goals a player scores, or the points? Awards are given for both, and thanks to this rule, it's rarely the same player. More importantly, sometimes the assist is even prettier than the goal. Witness Max Talbot's assist to Geno Malkin, which gave them the go-ahead in Game 2 with Ottawa. Or how about Jerome Iginla's assist (while falling down) to Sidney Crosby for the game-winning goal in the Olympic gold medal game. I could go on, but my point is this....not everybody was meant to score goals, but assisting in the scoring of a goal is every player's privilege.

Life: On the other hand, being the right hand man in life is often regarded as second best, also ran and someone who really never got their shot in life. Many of us are not meant to be leaders, run the company or have the corner office. We are better at shooting the backhand pass to the center, or laying down a big hit so the forwards have space to make a play, unabated. But rarely do we get credited with such actions.

We need a point system in life, whereby not only does the boss get the credit for a great idea, you get one too for thinking of how to make it a reality; or maybe you get two points everytime you stop your spouse from wearing ugly clothing in public; perhaps it's a bonus point for telling your cousin his zipper is down right before he gives a big toast at your other cousin's wedding. Whatever it is, it doesn't have to be big, but like hockey, it should be rewarded.

Next up on 4/28: Section 4, Playing Rules. Rule 480, Puck Out of Bounds.

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