Monday, November 22, 2010

The Winterhawks Are Down, the Penguins Are Back, and Tampa's Evil Plan Is Working

The games: Spokane Chiefs 3, Portland Winterhawks 1 (WHL). Pittsburgh Penguins 3, Florida Panthers 2.

This is just mean: We are awaiting the first major winter storm front here in Oregon any day now, which promises to snarl commuter and air traffic this week. And what do I see on my television when I turn on Center Ice? A shot of the harbor in Florida, with people out on sailing trips, fishing and tanning and what not. May I suggest that the Florida Panthers come to some sort of cable arrangement where there's a blackout of such footage in markets where the climate is hovering around the freezing mark? Because that's just not fair.

Meanwhile in other toasty warm parts of Florida where people are still wearing golf shorts and sunscreen: Guy Boucher's evil plan is taking shape. The Bolts are sitting in second place in the Southeast Division with 24 points. Their opponent tonight, the Boston Bruins, are also in second place in the Northeast Division with 24 points. The Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Bruins 3 to 1. Not sure what that means, except that the evil comeback plan is working.

The very best reason to get excited about the holidays: At long last, I can take out my Toronto Maple Leafs Christmas stocking, which I bought in honor of Portland Winterhawk Brad Ross being drafted by the Leafs. Note to self: go onto and purchase some other holiday decor to honor the other 9 draftees on the Winterhawks' roster.

Now, what to say about Portland's Sunday game against the Spokane Chiefs: Can't say a whole lot, since I was ill and therefore covering it from my couch with a little help from Winterhawks' broadcaster Andy Kemper. But I will say this: a two-week road trip, one very brawling Saturday night game and a few players who were under the weather themselves equals Spokane outplaying us. And that they did. Onward and get well soon to the players who were not feeling their best.

If you are a Pittsburgh Penguin and your name ends in y, you are therefore on fire: Sidney Crosby is racking up pretty much every point, goal, assist, face off percentage and whatever else with each passing game, and Marc-Andre Fleury's slump is pretty much a vapor trail at this point.

The rule: Article 13, Waivers and Loans of Players to Minor League Clubs.

13.4, Exempt Players: As readers of my oregonlive blog know, I leave the numbers to trained professionals like Andy Kemper (After the Whistle), the Vroomans and my fellow oregonlive blogger Dylan Bumbarger. Here's a snippet of why: For purposes of Regular Waivers and Re-Entry Waivers, the five (5) year exemption for an 18-year-old skater and the four (4) year exemption for a 19 year old skater shall be reduced to three (3) commencing the first season that the 18 or 19 year old skater plays in eleven (11) games or more. The next two (2) seasons, regardless of whether the skater plays any NHL Games in either season, shall count as the second and third years toward satisfying the exemption.

Morals of the story:

The game: That's it. I give up. I'm going back to the humble days when I didn't know what a hat trick was and I could have cared less why the face-off happens where it does.

Life: In the current economy, wouldn't it be awesome if we had exemptions from being laid off and fired and downsized, etc.? If you have worked at a company for longer than 5 years, have been promoted and complimented regularly and have never abused the company's generous vacation or expense report policy, you are exempt from being fired for at least one year while you rethink and realize you didn't want that job anyway and use it to instead write the best selling novel and escape with your ass one day after the exemption runs out. Brilliant.

Next up: Article 13, Waivers and Loans of Players to Minor League Clubs. 13.6, Injured Player Loan to Minor Leagues. 13.8, Conditioning Loan.

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