Sunday, June 6, 2010

Interference...Grownups, Don't Try This At Home.

The game: Chicago vs. Philadelphia, Game 5 in the Madhouse.

Why I chose it: How could any self-respecting hockey fan not watch this one?

Sad, but true: By this time next weekend, there will be a new Stanley Cup champion and no hockey for 2.5 to 3 months, depending on when the WHL and NHL open their pre-seasons.

What I'll be doing in that time: Learning the rest of the IIHF Rulebook, covering the NHL Draft, and learning the business of hockey when the free trade period opens on July 1. And preparing my new blog solely dedicated to the Portland Winterhawks. Or hiding under my bed with a box of Fudge Cream Oreos and a case of wine until hockey season starts again. Stay tuned.

The rule: Section 5, Penalties. Fouls Against Players. Rule 534, Interference.

The basics are the same: Interference is interfering with or impeding the progress of an opponent not in possession of the puck.

But here's something I didn't know: 534.b. A player on either the player's bench or the penalty bench who, by means of his stick or body, interferes with the movement of the puck or any opponent on the ice during the progress of the play, shall be assessed a minor penalty. 534.d. If, when the goalkeeper has been removed from the ice, any member of his team, including a team official, interferes by means of the stick, any other object, or his body, with the movement of the puck or an opposing player, the Referee shall award to the non-offending team a goal.

Morals of the story:

The game: Exactly how does a player get away with this from the bench? You would have to put your stick over the edge, lean over and grab someone or, if you're on the penalty bench, open the glass door and attempt the above. I'm putting this one in the "dude, don't even try it" file.

Life: The most dangerous form of interference in life is interfering with one's own progress. We all come out of high school, college, whatever and declare that we are going to save the world, not end up like our parents in their unhappy marriages, live our dream of being an artist, become a VP by 30, get married, have the 2.3 kids with the 2.3 car garage and have it made by the time we got to middle age. But we all know the path doesn't always go according to the plan. What happens? Life. And economic recessions. And pretty girls who attract the husband's attention on a business trip. And suburban bliss that turns out not to be quite so blissful. Perhaps if life imposed a minor penalty we'd be less inclined to get in our own way. For example:

-- Our own personal referee to stop us from taking that promotion at a corporate job that will suck up more time and energy, instead of spending our precious free time writing that best-selling novel, painting, traveling, etc.

-- If you get even the slightest hint that your man or woman has a wandering eye, wander away from the relationship with all speed and don't look back.

-- If you are looking at houses in the suburbs, be sure you're doing it because you really do want that big yard for the kids and the dog and not because you're supposed to. There are plenty of other ways to live that don't involve living in a cookie cutter house with a mini-van and a large furry dog that looks good on a Christmas card.

Next up on 6/8: Section 5, Penalties. Fouls Against Players. Rule 535, Kicking. Rule 536, Kneeing.

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