Sunday, May 2, 2010

Thankfully, This Is Hockey, Not Baseball

The game: Pittsburgh vs. Montreal.

Why I chose it: Mais oui. Now, I love the Habs, but I'm still all in for Pittsburgh vs. Chicago in the final. Yes I know Vancouver ate Chicago for a snack last night. It's only Game 1, be patient.

The rule: Section 4, Playing Rules. Rule 491, Kicking the Puck. Rule 492, High Sticking the Puck.

Yes, you can apparently do this: Kicking the puck shall be permitted in all zones, but a goal may not be scored by the kick of an attacking player, unless deflected off the stick of an attacking player. So when it really matters, you can't kick the puck. But hey, if you want to move it down the ice a little so someone else can score legitimately, carry on.

I always wondered about this one: Now I know. 492.a. Stopping or batting the puck with the stick above the height of the shoulders is prohibited, and play shall be stopped, unless:
1. Puck is batted to an opponent in which case the play shall continue and the Referee shall give the "Wash Out" signal.
2. A player of the defending team bats the puck in his own goal, in which case the goal is allowed. So like life, you can't do this, but if you're stupid enough to do it into your own goal, the resulting goal is punishment in itself.

Hey look, at least this is simple: 492.d. No goal shall be scored when the stick of an attacking player above the height of the crossbar of the goal net contacts the puck.

Morals of the story:

The game: So, don't kick the puck, don't bat the puck, don't touch the puck, don't hold the puck. Might as well put the puck down and walk away. My friends and colleagues are what I like to politely call non-appreciators. Perhaps because they do not appreciate all the ways you can't score a goal, which makes it all the more beautiful when you do. Either that, or they just don't like it. Why not, I'll never know.

Life: I think I finally get this rule. High sticking a puck is an excellent and all too easy way to get around a goaltender in a vulnerable position. So, in hockey, if it's easy, it's banned. This is sort of the ultimate life rule. Nothing in life is easy anymore. That being said, why don't we get a high sticking rule? I'm thinking we need something like this:

1. Getting to the parking lot at just the right moment when someone is pulling out of a spot and trying to take it when in fact someone else has been waiting patiently for it. Said parking infraction will be punishable by having your car broken into or otherwise robbed by professional thieves who will steal something from your vehicle that can't be replaced: like the out of print CD from your favorite band that you left on the floor of the passenger side. Or the Stanley Cup playoff coffee cup from the early nineties that is no longer available, even on ebay.

2. If you're standing in line by yourself and someone tries to cut ahead of you by pretending that you are in fact not there, the clerk at the Starbucks or bank or whatever will promptly grab the offender you by the back of her designer cashmere sweater, walk her to the end of the line, stick a number on said sweater and make her wait there until she is called, which will take a minimum of 10 minutes. Security will be assigned to the exits to ensure that said offender must stand there and take the punishment instead of leaving in protest.

Next up on 5/3: Section 4, Playing Rules. Rule 493, Interference by Spectators.

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