Wednesday, June 23, 2010

And the Winners Are...Never Who You Think They Will Be.

The distraction: The NHL Awards.

Best upset of the night: Henrik Sedin beating the media's favorite archrivals Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin to win the Hart Trophy.

I was in for Duchene, but this was my second choice: Tyler Myers won the Calder. A 6'8" defenseman from the heart of BC wine country takes it. Way to go. I was all in for Matt Duchene, because I like the way he just quietly went about the business of getting it done for Colorado, including my favorite move of the season...a shootout goal that put them in the playoffs. But Myers is doing the same for Buffalo, so I'm good to go with this one. Mini-bummer alert for him, though: He's not yet 21, so no partying for him in Vegas. Well, none that we'll hear about, anyway.

Dude, how did Jordan Staal not win this one?: Pavel Datsyuk took home the Selke. Refresh me, but didn't Staal go back onto the ice about 11 minutes after having foot surgery during the playoffs? Shouldn't that count for something?

But these are my favorites: And they were awarded as they should have been. Turnaround genius Dave Tippett of the Phoenix Coyotes for the coaches award, Sidney Crosby for the Messier Leadership Award and tied for the Richard, and Martin St. Louis for the Lady Byng.

Ok, I was partly right about NHL Prospect Nino Niederreiter being pulled over by the Oregon State Highway Patrol for speeding in a zippy little sports car: has a "five questions" feature with the top prospects, and he said his dream car is "A Fiat Punto Evo -- The little one. I love this car." Note to self: If you see a very large teenager driving around Portland in a very small car, distract the nearest police officer so said teenager can get away without a ticket. Of course that would ruin the fun of watching Nino explain himself to the officer ("I step on gas. Car go very fast."). And mind, Nino only learned to drive this past February. But still, I must do my bit for youth hockey in Portland.

And if you think all the kooky superstitious, pre-game rituals you hear about Sidney Crosby are funny: Well, ok, I think they're funny. In a good, charming sort of you're a genius-so-it's-ok-if-you're-a-little-nutty way. Anyway...check this out. Prospect Danny Biega claims to always tape his sticks at the exact same time on game day. In his defense, he also says he's not quite sure why he does this. Neither am I, but it makes a good story.

Now, on with the rule: Section 5, Penalties. Other Penalties. Rule 554.a. Keeping the Puck in Motion.

554.a: The puck shall be in motion at all times. A team in possession of the puck in its own defending zone shall advance the puck towards the opposing goal except:
1) To carry the puck behind the goal once.
2) If it is prevented from doing so by players of the opposing team.
3) If the team is short-handed.

If you do pass the puck backward, and you are not short-handed, the Ref gives a warning to the Captain the first time, and it's a minor penalty the second time.

Morals of the story:

The game: So, if you score into your own net, not only are you an asshole, you get a minor penalty? Plus, your own Captain has to come kick your ass? Discuss.

And P.S. No dawdling, little hockey players. Time's a wastin'.

Life: We should be penalized in life for not keeping the puck in motion. How may of us go forth at 18, 22, whatever and declare we are going to save the world, live our dreams, not sell out, not give in, give up or give out. And ten years later, the dreams have lost their grandeur coming true, if they happened at all, we sold out and the "just until" day job is our job. Somewhere along the way we stop keeping the puck in motion and we go backwards into the defending zone, where it's easy and it's safe. But what if somebody or something followed us, and the minute we strayed off course, we were penalized for giving up, giving out or giving in? Would we stay on course? Would we give up so easily?

Not keeping the puck in motion is easier than you think when you're 18 and you think you know everything. And little compromises don't seem that bad until they add up to one big one. Here's the deal: The next time you find yourself delaying the game of life, put the puck back in motion. The biggest risk is not taking one at all. I took one. I started this blog. I don't make any money from it, and I have to keep my day job to keep doing this, but I did it. And if you read this entry or any part of this blog after finding me on Google or elsewhere -- and you liked it -- then the chance I took was worth it. If I can, anyone can. And I hope you keep reading, no matter where you are.

Next up: Section 5, Penalties. Other Penalties. Rule 554.b. Displacing the Goal Frame.

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