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Got a question on rule clarification, comments on rule enforcements or some memorable NHL stories? Kerry wants to answer your emails at firstname.lastname@example.org. Kerry, In the closing minutes of the second period of Game 4 between Pittsburgh and Columbus there were the remnants of two broken sticks behind the Pittsburgh net. The official in that zone didnt pick up any of the pieces even when the play went deep in the Columbus end. I know he has other responsibilities, but it would only take a couple seconds to gather the sticks up and remove them from play. Ive seen other times where a ref does pick up a broken stick while the game is still in play and dumps it to the nearest players bench. So why do broken sticks sometimes get picked up but not other times? Personal choice or something else going on? Louis Frlan III Louis:You are correct in your assertion that the ref has other (more important) responsibilities with play in progress; particularly to watch for the presence of a penalty infraction; which by the way I would like to see called more consistently! If any debris (broken stick) or lost equipment (glove, helmet) can be easily accessed, most refs will pick up the obstacle(s) and discard them or return them to the players bench or penalty box as they pass by in the normal flow of action. I did this whenever I was able to do it "safely". An objective of every referee is to sustain game flow. In picking up debris I applied referee rule No. 1 - common sense and foresight! From a safety issue there is potential (no matter how slight) for a player to step on a broken stick and crash into the boards or fall awkwardly thereby sustaining a needless injury. With an eye toward the potential for bad things to happen, I was always concerned that a player would shoot a broken stick in the direction of the puck or puck carrier which could result in an interference infraction or the assessment of a penalty shot. I could prevent any opportunity for these things to occur by picking up the debris with a quick swoop whenever the play dictated. The refs are cautioned about being distracted through picking up broken sticks that could result in missing something elsewhere. For this reason some refs just arent comfortable veering their focus away from the play. I can appreciate that fact and it is their personal choice, Louis. The debris behind and around the Penguins net on this play however was an accident waiting to happen. Play continued for one minute and 30 seconds after Brooks Orpiks stick was slashed hard by RJ Umberger and broken in half below the goal line at the side of the net which allowed Columbus to gain puck possession (no penalty call but deserved). On the other side of the net the remnants of Sidney Crosbys broken stick eventually provided additional obstacles for players to maneuver around. The Blue Jackets applied puck pressure for 10 seconds before the Pens safely dumped the puck into the Columbus end zone. This would have been a prime opportunity for the referee on the Pittsburgh goal line to safely swoop in and collect the trash. Until the play was finally stopped when the same referee called a tripping penalty to Matt Niskanen, the Penguins had sustained puck possession throughout the neutral zone and into the Blue Jackets end for extended periods. Another primary missed opportunity for the ref to play pick up the sticks took place when a Blue Jackets dump-in was retrieved by Niskanen. Matt set up behind the Pens goal and led an uncontested breakout after contacting one broken shaft with his skate and avoiding the others as he carried the puck out of Jackets end zone. The ref could have easily followed behind Niskanen, bent down while looking at the play with his head up and quickly gathered the sticks but obviously wasnt comfortable in doing so. Twenty seconds later the Blue Jackets attacked and play forced the referee to skate backwards behind the Penguins net. The ref maneuvered through the obstacle field bumping into and stepping over portions of broken sticks, as did the players, until Niskanen tripped Brandon Dubinsky to stop play. While it makes good sense for a referee not to forsake his primary duties by going out of his way to become a trash collector, I believe that "common sense" should be applied to remove obstacles when the opportunity is safely presented. Comprar Zapatillas Nike Rebajas . Niese pitched seven steady innings on a rainy Tuesday night and Daniel Murphy had three hits to lead New York to a 6-1 victory over the Phillies. Comprar Zapatillas Nike Baratas Online . They were expecting him there all along. The Pacers announced Friday night that George has been cleared "to return to normal basketball activity," a decision made three days after he was concussed in Game 2 of the Indiana-Miami series. http://www.zapatillasbaratasnike.es/.com) - The New York Rangers hope to punch their ticket to the second round when they visit the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday for a Game 6 battle at Wells Fargo Center. Zapatillas Nike Baratas Outlet .That is precisely what they got Sunday.The Ravens trailed at halftime and never built a comfortable lead against lowly Jacksonville, yet did just enough to squeeze out a 20-12 win to stay in the thick of the AFC playoff race. Ofertas Zapatillas Nike Outlet . Left-handed reliever Boone Logan agreed to a $16.5 million, three-year contract on Friday, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press.WASHINGTON -- After Bryce Harper provided Washington with a first-inning lead, the Nationals spent the rest of the game holding off the worst team in the National League. Harper hit a three-run homer to back an effective pitching performance by Gio Gonzalez, and the Nationals beat the Miami Marlins 3-2 on Thursday night to keep alive their slim hope of reaching the playoffs. Despite winning 11 of 13 in a belated run, the Nationals trail Cincinnati by five games for the final NL wild-card slot with nine games remaining. Washington needed every bit of mettle it could muster to win this one. Gonzalez (11-7) worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the third and spied a runner trying to steal third in the sixth. Drew Storen and Tyler Clippard each worked a harrowing scoreless inning before Rafael Soriano got three outs, stranding two runners in earning his 42nd save. "I mean, everybody was out there. Gave me a heart attack. Check my pulse," Nationals manager Davey Johnson said. "Gio took it right to the edge, Storen to the edge, Clip and Sori topped it off. But its nice to come out on top." Denard Span went 0 for 4 for Washington, ending his hitting streak at 29 games -- one short of the Nationals record. He was bidding to become the 27th player to have a 30-game hitting streak since Joe DiMaggio had his 56-game run in 1941. Span received a standing ovation from many in the crowd of 25,945 after he struck out in the seventh, his final at-bat. Although the streak is done, Span expressed no regret. "It was unbelievable," he said. "It was like a roller-coaster, especially these last 10 days or so. It was a lot of fun. It gave me added motivation, to come to the field to try to extend it." Gonzalez allowed two runs and seven hits over six innings to improve to 3-0 against Miami this season. He struck out three, lifting his team-high total to 186. "The good news is we got the win," Gonzalez said. "Its a very important win." Harpers 20th homer of the season came off Henderson Alvarez (4-5) and turned out to be all the offence the Nationals needed to improve to 12-4 against Miami, including 7-0 at home. "I like being in those pressure situatioons, crucial situations of playing for the wild card," Harper said.dddddddddddd "All year long you try to play for the playoffs and try to go to the next round. Now its getting to that point where were turning it on and playing the game how we should have played it all year." Ed Lucas had three hits for the Marlins, who must go 7-2 in their last nine games to avoid 100 losses. Miami went 2 for 9 with runners in scoring position and stranded 10. "I think thats good were getting guys in scoring position, but at the same time weve got to do a better job of driving those guys in," manager Mike Redmond said. "We seem to have two or three, four opportunities a night and cant capitalize on them and really that ends up being the difference." Miami went up 1-0 when Donovan Solano opened the game with a double and Lucas followed with an RBI single. In the bottom half, Ryan Zimmerman hit the first of his three singles and Jayson Werth walked before Harper drove a hanging curveball over the wall in centre field. It was his first home run since Aug. 29. The Marlins loaded the bases with two outs in the third before Placido Polanco flied out. Successive doubles by Giancarlo Stanton and Justin Ruggiano got Miami within 3-2 in the sixth, but Gonzalez nabbed Ruggiano trying to steal third, short-circuiting the uprising. "I say jokingly, I set him up," Gonzalez said. "Im glad I got out of that inning." NOTES: Jordan Zimmermann seeks his 19th win for Washington on Friday night. Miami starter Jacob Turner (3-7) will attempt to break a six-game losing streak. ... The Nationals acquired minor league pitcher Matthew Spann as the player to be named in the Aug. 23 trade that sent OF David DeJesus to Tampa Bay. Spann is 14-10 with a 3.03 ERA in four pro seasons. ... Johnson expects RHP Stephen Strasburg to start Saturday. Strasburg felt forearm tightness while throwing Wednesday and was scratched from his scheduled start Thursday. ... Both teams received a warning from home plate umpire Bill Welke after Alvarez hit Ian Desmond with a 3-0 pitch in the first inning. Johnson said Alvarez should have been ejected. ... The Nationals are 28-11 since Aug. 8. ' ' '
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