Sunday, December 12, 2010

Teddy bears, winning streaks and skating with Santa oh my!

The math: Pittsburgh 5, Buffalo 2. Portland Winterhawks 7, Prince George Cougars 4 (WHL).

The streak continues: Sidney Crosby notched up an assist last night, and the Pens ran their winning streak up to 12. Refresh me, why do the rest of us bother? We'll never catch up.

Speaking of scoring: How about that Portland score? Fueled by a near sellout crowd that tossed more than 12,000 bears to the ice in our annual teddy bear toss, the Winterhawks turned a losing streak around with a winning weekend against the Prince George Cougars. And Ty Rattie, NHL prospect extraordinaire, scored the teddy bear goal, turning his own scoring drought around. He added two assists to officially break out. You can read all about it here:

Penalty kill is their middle name: Led by Taylor Peters, Spencer Bennett and defenseman Tyler Wotherspoon, Portland's penalty killers are a thing of staggering beauty. And if you're lucky, they'll be coming to an NHL rink near you.

I'm going skating with Santa: Next week, the Portland Winterhawks reopen the remodeled version of Valley Ice Arena, and they are inviting the public to skate with Mr. Claus over the holiday weekend. Genius. So, if you don't see any entries around Christmas, you'll know I'm in an emergency room somewhere, watching reruns and slurping egg nog. If I do survive, then I'm signing up for the "Learn to Play Hockey" program. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

The rule: Holy crap! I just realized I missed a rule: Article 7, No Strike, Discrimination and Other Undertakings. More frightening, I covered it and have no memory of it. Oh well....doesn't hurt to refresh now and again:

7.1: (a) Neither the NHL nor the NHLPA shall authorize, encourage or engage in any strike, work stoppage, slowdown or other concerted interference with the activities of any Club or of the League during the term of this Agreement. (b) Neither the League nor any Club shall engage in a lockout during the term of this Agreement. The rule goes on to ban any form of intolerance based on race, sexual orientation, religion, ethnic background, marital status, etc.

Morals of the story:

The game: Smart move, this one. One lockout in my lifetime was enough. The only thing uglier than an ugly win or nasty game is no hockey at all.

Life: For all the Miss Americas who just want world peace, this is the rule for you. You could just add it to the Geneva Conventions: parties engaged in international diplomatic relations shall not engage in a strike, slowdown, lockout or any other action that would lead to war. Brilliant.

Up next: The last of Article 13, Waivers and Loans of Players to Minor League Clubs.

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