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Ice hockey’s day in the Sun

If you are in the Los Angeles area, you may have noticed the ice hockey fever that is spreading.

But if you have been trying to limit contact with hockey fans in fear of being infected, perhaps it is time for you to turn on tonight’s third game of the Stanley Cup finals. Your local team, the Los Angeles Kings, is actually quite good. And it’s about the only one of your local teams that is quite good.

No doubt you are objecting that the Los Angeles Galaxy are defending MLS Cup champions. Technically that is true, but not with any reasonable definition of the word defending.

Anyway, if you have been exposed to ice hockey fever but you are not yet exhibiting the symptoms of watching all games, knowing all players, and objecting to all offside calls, you might be wondering about some things. And for some reason, some of you who have been wondering about some things have been sending your questions about these things to the GoobNet Mailbox. So let’s open it up and see what you in the Los Angeles area have been asking us about ice hockey, the NHL, and the Kings. But for those who are more knowledgeable and experienced in the ways of the NHL, please do not laugh at any of these questions. If we catch you laughing, it will be a two minute minor.

What is offside in hockey? I know offside in soccer, but in hockey, I don’t understand what it is.

– Juan Noble
Burbank, CA, USA

In ice hockey, a player who enters the attacking zone [ie, crosses the blue line on the attacking side] before the puck is offside. It is offside only if the puck was played into the attacking zone by a teammate.

I heard that the NHL has a lot of strange trophies like the Hart Trophy and the Lady Byng trophy. How many trophies does the NHL give out, and what are they for?

– Dyanne Rockford
Long Beach, CA, USA

The NHL does in fact have a great many trophies. Most of them are awarded to players:

  • Hart Trophy: Most valuable player
  • Ted Lindsay Award: Most outstanding player by player vote
  • Conn Smythe Trophy: Playoff most valuable player
  • Calder Trophy: Best rookie
  • Vezina Trophy: Best goaltender
  • William M Jennings Trophy: Goaltenders who played 25 games or more for the team that conceded the fewest goals
  • Roger Crozier Saving Grace Award: Goaltender with highest save percentage
  • James Norris Trophy: Best defenseman
  • Frank J Selke Trophy: Best defending forward
  • Art Ross Trophy: Top point scorer [goals plus assists]
  • Maurice Richard Trophy: Top goal scorer
  • Plus-Minus Award: Player with the highest plus-minus [team’s goals scored minus goals conceded during the player’s time on the ice]
  • Lady Byng Trophy: Sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct
  • Bill Masterson Trophy: Perseverance and dedication [usually players who have overcome injuries or other personal difficulties]
  • King Clancy Trophy and NHL Foundation Player Award: Humanitarian contributions
  • Mark Messier Leadership Award: Leadership qualities

Trophies awarded to other team personnel:

  • Jack Adams Award: Best coach
  • General Manager of the Year Award: Best GM

And trophies awarded to teams:

  • Stanley Cup: Champion
  • Presidents’ Trophy: Most points in regular season
  • Prince of Wales Trophy: Eastern Conference champion
  • Clarence S Campbell Bowl: Western Conference champion

I have seen a few delayed penalties called in these playoffs. What does that mean?

– Cedric Bata
Montclair, CA, USA

When the referee sees a penalty, play is stopped immediately only if the team that committed the infraction has the puck. If the other team has possession, the referee allows play to continue until the next stoppage, or until the offending team gains possession. This is a delayed penalty; it’s the equivalent of giving advantage in football.

I didn’t know this, but the Kings have actually been in Los Angeles for more than 40 years. Who is the best player the Kings have ever had?

– Joe Banningsley
Santa Monica, CA, USA

That would be Wayne Gretzky.

Well, besides him.

– Joe Banningsley
Santa Monica, CA, USA

Other than Gretzky, the Kings’ best player all time is probably Marcel Dionne. He played with the team for twelve years and scored 1,307 points [550 goals and 757 assists], the club’s all time leader. He was the league scoring leader once and a two time winner of the Lester B Pearson Award as the league’s most outstanding player by player vote.

Why are people in Southern California getting excited about a “first” Stanley Cup? The Ducks won it a few years ago.

– Logan Hartleford
Fullerton, CA, USA

The Ducks did indeed win the Stanley Cup in 2007. But they’re way down in Anaheim. Who wants to go all the way over there for an ice hockey match? Or for anything, really?

The penalty box is a great idea. Why don’t other sports use that as well?

– Alfredo Carbarrest
Altadena, CA, USA

Penalty boxes are also used in lacrosse, rugby, and water polo. Football, in particular, should also consider using penalty boxes. For instance, when the referee sees a foul but allows play to continue on an advantage call, the offending player currently escapes punishment. Instead, that player could be sent to the sin bin after the next stoppage in play.

Please inform your readers that the Los Angeles Kings hockey team has nothing to do with the Sacramento Kings basketball team. The names are a coincidence, and there is no connection between the two. Thank you.

– Joe and Gavin Maloof
Las Vegas, NV, USA

You’re welcome. Please change your team’s name back to the Royals to avoid further confusion.