Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Cheater!: Boarding or "Thanks For Losing Us the Game, Marty"

Welcome to "Cheater!", a new feature here at Preds 101.  Cheater! is the Anatomy of a Goal (AOAG) for penalties.  For fans new to the game, we'll show you what the penalties in hockey are, and explain why you care.  For the knowledgeable  hockey fan, Cheater! will hopefully dive into the finer points of the rougher side of the game.

Our inaugural Cheater! is none other than predator's own Martin Erat (RW, #10).  His boarding penalty came with less than one minute left in the game, where the Predators where defending a 3-2 lead.  Take a look at the penalty.

The Rule
Basically, you can't hit a guy from behind into the boards.  But here is the official rule 42:  
42.1 Boarding – A boarding penalty shall be imposed on any player or goalkeeper who checks an opponent in such a manner that causes the opponent to be thrown violently in the boards. The severity of the penalty, based upon the degree of violence of the impact with the boards, shall be at the discretion of the Referee.
There is an enormous amount of judgment involved in the application of this rule by the Referees. The onus is on the player (or goalkeeper) applying the check to ensure his opponent is not in a vulnerable position and if so, he must avoid the contact. ...
Football Equivalent/Analogy: Clipping.

The Situation

As in most sports, there are smart penalties and dumb penalties.  A tripping a player on a breakaway to the net can be smart.  Erat's decision to take this boarding call, however, was not.   The Preds were outnumbered 6-to-5, because the Islanders had pulled their goalie in the hopes of scoring a goal to tie the game up.  With less than a minute remaining, the odds of scoring a goal on a 6-5 are not particularly good.  Erat's hit neither clear the puck from the zone, nor prevents a shot on goal.  No, the hit is simply a hit.  

The result is a penalty, which gives the Islanders a chance to stop play and call a time out.  The faceoff moves to the Islanders offensive zone.  Now the Predators are outnumbered 6-to-4.  The islanders score soon after. The islanders go on to win the game in a shootout, and the Predators get only one point in the standings, instead of 2.

The Poll

I plan on posting this same poll for each Cheater!.  Share any additional thoughts below in the comment section.

1 comment:

  1. Not typical Erat behaviour, and to redeem himself, he did fake Biron out of his jock in the shootout, and provided some laughing stock in an otherwise frustrating situation.