Friday, May 21, 2010

Skate Don't Run to a Charging Penalty

The games: Chicago vs. San Jose (NHL Finals). Calgary Hitmen vs. Brandon Wheat Kings (Memorial Cup).

Why I chose them: It's Friday night in the Madhouse. The host of the Memorial Cup and Calgary are tied and going to OT. Ditto for the Blackhawks and the Sharks.

This is the coolest hockey moment of the week: Brandon just clinched it in OT. They will play for the Cup against Windsor on Sunday. I was in for Calgary, but I love a good upset. Especially if it's the future of the NHL on their home ice. Way to go boys, and good luck to all of you.

Oohh, did I say that out loud: Ok, I know Patrick Kane is a little bad-ass and all-around troublemaker, but that's kind of what I like about him. If he keeps doing it, then it will get boring. So he needs to mix it up every now and again. For example, perhaps next time he could try getting into trouble sometime other than while a passenger in the back of one vehicle or another. There. I said it. Now I feel better.

T minus 35: While we're watching junior hockey, make note: It is officially 35 days until the NHL Draft and in my first official action as a Portland Winterhawks season ticket holder, I'm going to the team's draft-watching party on June 25. To watch Nino Niederreiter and Ryan Johansen and possibly a few others get taken in the first round, of course. Duh.

This is just wrong: It's May-going-on-June and I'm sitting on my couch in a sweater, with the heat on and the fireplace going. And I have a lovely view of my plants that just died in the overnight frost warning last evening. It's perfect hockey weather, but seeing as how the hockey season is nearly over, perhaps we could dispatch the winter weather alongside it.

And I still can't believe this either: That dingdong of a PR twit at the IIHF who blogged about how Sidney Crosby hadn't done enough for his country and therefore should come to play for Canada in the Worlds at what turned out to be, well...not the best display of their considerable talent. Dude, Crosby has done his part for Canada. And the NHL. And hockey. And fans. And Pittsburgh. He doesn't owe anyone. We owe him. He has paid his debt. Perhaps we as fans, bloggers and others should repay ours, by appreciating what he has done for the sport, for the NHL, and for a team that was not that long ago on the verge of being sold out of Pittsburgh, it had fallen so far from grace. The lockout was just about the ugliest thing I've seen except for this. Speaking of which...just a friendly reminder...Crosby was drafted in the immediate aftermath of the lockout. And so, out of hockey's darkest hour emerged its brightest future. Be glad there was light at the end of the tunnel. There, I said it. Again. I feel better. Let's move on to the rule:

Section 5, Penalties. Rule 522, Charging. Charging shall mean the action of a player who, as a result of distance travelled violently checks an opponent. Charging may be the result of a check into the boards, into the goal frame or on open ice. Penalty is major plus an automatic game misconduct or match penalty. At the discretion of the referee, of course.

But this I have to see: 522.a. A player who runs, jumps or charges an opponent or who runs, jumps or charges the opposing goalkeeper in his crease shall be assessed, at the discretion of the Referee, a minor, a major plus an automatic game misconduct or match penalty.

Morals of the story:

The game: I think they mean "runs into," because I have no clue how a player would actually run. But I would like to see it. Maybe it's those players who look more like kids let loose for recess instead of smoothly gliding at high speed across the ice. Max Talbot kind of skates like that when he comes off the bench on a shift change or out of the penalty box. It's kind of funny, but I like it because he looks like he'd charge you not only into the boards, but right out of the rink if you're in his way. Which is one of many reasons why he's my favorite player.

Life: Daily life in the 21st Century has somehow, in spite of technology and mass transit and digital cable, gotten way more complicated and with it, we pretty much have to charge our way through every day now. Think of these situations where it might really nice to have the "Discretion of the Referee" to speed things up or stop them altogether.

-- Automated customer service numbers where if you are lucky, you will get to talk with a real person after 10 minutes of either waiting or pushing buttons. But the worst offenders are the ones where they make you talk into the phone like you're talking to an actual person. It's right up there with yelling a food order into a McDonald's speaker or realizing after you get your groceries checked out that either you don't have your wallet or you don't have enough money. We've all done it, but it's not exactly what one would call dignified now is it? Major penalty plus game misconduct in the form of an automatic shutdown of your business if more than 5 people call and hang up in frustration and agony.

-- Rush hour traffic where, instead of tuning out and slogging along listening to drive time radio, you have to be on constant alert for the twits who are driving and texting, Bluetoothing or making cell phone calls. Scary, illegal and deadly, you twits. Knock it off. Nobody is so important they don't have to put both eyes on the road at all times to take a call or send a text or whatever. Nobody. Not even NHL All-Stars. Match penalty, automatic game misconduct and supplementary discipline that will result in you being marooned on a desert island with a fishing spear, one clean pair of underwear, two small sticks to rub together to make fire and a rotary phone that doesn't work, but which you will dial in desperation thinking that maybe today it will. That is, of course, if you know how to actually dial a rotary phone.

-- Standing hopelessly by while Wall Street computers crash and investors make off with your life savings. I'm going old school and investing in a really big mattress myself. Maybe a piggy bank too, for all the spare change. Major penalty in the form of being driven to the most deserted part of the Nevada desert, and being made to work 16 hour days at a gas station, seven days a week, with no health benefits and weekly garnishing of your minimum wage paycheck until your debt is repaid.

-- Death by PowerPoint in corporate meetings, which presenters only use because nobody really bothers to prepare anymore with flash cards and studying and all that. Work? No, no, no....see, this is the 21st Century, where one abuses technology by having overloaded slides right in front of him or her instead of memorizing what's on them and wastes other people's precious free time because the world does revolve around mois, after all. Major or match penalty in the form of immediate firing and notification to other businesses not to hire you on account that you are a self-entitled tiddlywink who is addicted to technology and allergic to actually working.

Next up: Section 5, Penalties. Rule 523, Checking From Behind.

1 comment:

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