Thursday, May 6, 2010

Automatic Game Misconduct for NHL Teams Who Blow a Perfectly Good Chance at a Playoff Sweep

The games: Pittsburgh vs. Montreal and San Jose vs. Detroit.

Ok, so maybe I owe my friend Mike a beer: Both my teams (Pittsburgh and San Jose) went down. In San Jose's case, like a rock. And both on the verge of either a sweep or wrapping it on Saturday. But then again, if it was easy, what would be the point of watching?

The rules: Section 5, Penalties. Rule 504, Misconduct Penalty. Rule 505, Game Misconduct Penalty.

It's a long time to sit on the bench: 505.a. For his first Misconduct penalty, any player, other than the goalkeeper, shall be ruled off the ice for ten minutes and immediate substitution shall be permitted. The player whose Misconduct penalty has expired shall stay on the penalty beach until the next stoppage of play.

At last, a rule where the goalkeepers get booted out: 505.b For his second Misconduct penalty in one game, any player, including the goalkeeper, shall automatically be ruled off the ice for the balance of the game (Game Misconduct penalty) and immediate substitution shall be allowed.

Since the NHL playoffs totally blow at this particular moment: How cool is this? If I'm reading the Swiss Ice Hockey web site correctly, Portland Winterhawk Nino Niederreiter made the Swiss World Championship team. The competition gets underway in Germany on May 7. Plus, Winterhawks coach Mike Johnston is on Switzerland's coaching staff. Bonne chance to Portland's hometown heroes. Look for coverage of their progress starting this weekend.

Plus, let's not forget: It's only Nino's rookie season and so far he's helped us get to the playoffs for the first time in four years, competed with Switzerland's World Junior Team, made two different all-star teams, played in the CHL prospects game, been invited to the NHL Scouting Combine later this spring, and is one of six Winterhawks expected to be taken in the draft.

Morals of the story:

The game: Really, if you wanted a player to get the message, why wait until the second penalty to throw him out for the balance of the game? It's like scolding children. You have to send the message the first time and keep sending it.

Life: I want these penalties for corporate meetings and endless conference calls. For going off topic and answering every little question one after the other instead of waiting for a Q&A at the end, conference call leader shall be ruled out of the meeting for five minutes, with subsitution allowed only by someone who has a proven track record of staying on topic and taking things offline if attendees detract from the matters at hand. For their second offense upon returning to the call, conference call leader will be permanently banned from doing anything more than pushing the buttons on the phone to dial in and taking minutes during the meeting.

Next up on 5/8: Section 5, Penalties. Rule 507, Match Penalty. Rule 508, Penalty Shot.

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