Sunday, May 16, 2010

Delayed Penalty for Parents Who Don't Name Their Child Taylor, Tyler or Evgeni

The games: Chicago vs. San Jose (NHL Western Conference Final, Game 1). Moncton vs. Brandon (Memorial Cup).

The only thing better than hockey: The nicknames of their rinks. The Chicago vs. San Jose games will either be played in the Shark Tank or the Madhouse. I love it. I do love the Portland Winterhawks and my city, but I really must make note to live in an NHL town again before I die.

Remind me never to do this again: Go 24 hours without hockey. In lieu of a game last night I watched "The Hangover" and it was hilarious. Further proof that I was, in fact, a guy in another life.

The quirk: Is it just me or are half the players in the junior hockey leagues named Taylor or Tyler? The two top prospects for the NHL Draft in June? Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin. The Portland Wintherhawks alone have three Taylors (although one is spelled Tayler) and two Tylers.

No rest for the Penguins: Evgeni Malkin is already in Germany and racked up a goal and two assists in the game against Denmark. I only want to know one thing...why am I not in Germany watching good-looking hockey players sweat and spit and swear and score goals? I really must make note to get my vacation/hockey schedule together next year.

Speaking of Russian cutie pies named Evgeni: How come I just now took notice of Nabokov beyond his obvious talent? Prime oggling material for the finals, which I was going to boycott since the Pens are toast. Obviously, that was an ill conceived notion that will not be happening. Plus, check this out: In 2002, he became the first goalie in NHL history to score a power play was against Vancouver.

Now, on with the rule: Section 5, Penalties. Rule 514, Calling of Penalties.

514.a: If the team of the offending player is in possession of the puck, the Referee shall immediately blow the whistle and assess the penalty. The face-off shall take place at the nearest face-off spot in the neutral zone to where the play was stopped, unless it was stopped in the attacking zone of the offending player. Ok, but then where is the face-off? These Europeans need to embrace the NHL-style paragraph-long sentences.

Aha, now I get where the term "Delayed Penalty" comes from: 514.b. If the team of the offending player is not in possession of the puck, the Referee shall raise his arm, signifying the calling of a penalty and, upon completion of the play by the team in possession, shall blow the whistle and assess the penalty. 514.c. If, after the Referee has raised his arm signifying the calling of the penalty, a goal is scored in any manner against the non-offending team as a result of an action of that team, the goal shall be allowed and a penalty shall be imposed in a normal manner.

Morals of the story:

The game: About every 10 rules or so, there is a provision that proves hockey is occasionally fair. This is one of them. If you commit the penalty, and your team scores, no goal is allowed. And vice versa. Of course, all the rules come complete with "in the judgment of the referee" or "in the opinion of the referee." So really, fairness in hockey boils down to one guy who's dressed in an outfit that kinda looks like pajamas. And therefore, it isn't really fair. But then again, if it was, we wouldn't bother watching, now would we?

Life: If you had Refs in life and they called every penalty that was committed, none of us would get anything done. We'd spend half our day in the penalty box. No matter how minor the infraction, most of us commit some form of a penalty during our average day or week. Be glad only the really big ones get caught. For example, if these minor slip ups were penalized, I would never have crossed anything off my to do list yesterday:

-- Not parking exactly straight on the curb or in the parking space because you lived in New York City for 10 years and forgot how to. Not that I would do this...but if I did, it's ok since I drive a Mini Cooper and it's so small it doesn't really get in anyone's way.

-- Not pointing out to the clerk at the grocery store that he forgot to ring up your toilet paper that was on the bottom of the cart, because really it was only 1.79 on special anyway so they won't miss it, and they scrimp and use one plastic bag now instead of two, so it's just revenge for bagging things in such a way that they will fall out while loyal customers carry them up three flights of stairs to their apartments.

-- Squandering precious free time by watching movies like "The Hangover" on a Saturday night in your pajamas, when really you should be out trying a new restaurant and going to a movie, or some other worthwhile endeavor.

Next up: Section 5, Penalties. Rule 520, Boarding.

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