Saturday, November 04, 2006

The Week in Review: Jurisprudence

(photo courtesy of Martin Hapl at

I wonder if NHL players get summoned for jury duty. Renowned hockey writer Stan Fischler reported that Vancouver’s Trevor Linden was summoned to serve his civic duty but “managed to escape the assignment.”

As I sat in the juror’s box in Boston’s John Joseph Moakley Federal Courthouse on Monday morning, I didn’t feel comfortable telling the judge that my job and AMHL teammates needed me more than the Court. The judge, a nice, down-to-earth woman, had just extolled the virtues of serving as a juror. She asked all prospective jurors to "look into (our) souls" before begging off our civic duty, and then said something like, “Yes, this is a guilt trip.”

Would I get the good ol’ peremptory boot (no specific reason needs to be given for excluding a prospective juror) or would my explanation that I knew someone whose circumstances were similar to those of the plaintiff cause the judge or lawyers to exclude me? I called the Court's automated line at 6:01 p.m. to learn that my services weren’t needed on for the trial, which started on Thursday morning, when my Capitals took on the Avalanche.

I don’t know where Aaron Sherman was sequestered, but he wasn’t present to watch Zach Zacharakis score the game-winning goal for us with a little more than a minute left in regulation. In the Caps’ locker room after the game, our captain and super lawyer Dave “Mr. Hockey” Losier was surprised at Sherman’s absence, wondering why the Av’s superstar wasn’t at the rink to “take his medicine” with his teammates.

So, now we’re on a two-game winning streak. But, let the record show that the Avs—as well as the Bruins and Stars (by virtue of a tie-breaker) still lead us in the standings. With four games remaining in the regular season, however, we still have time to bust out of the cellar…

…The same is true for the NHL Bruins. The season is still young.

Exhibit A: Thursday night, for about 50 minutes, the Bs dominated—in every facet of the game—the best team in the NHL. They led the Sabres, 4–1, and were well on their way to earning their second straight victory.

Exhibit B: The Bs pleaded nolo contendre (rough translation: I will not defend it) during the last half of third period and in the shootout. They’ve not yet demonstrated the killer instinct necessary to win consistently in the NHL.

Maybe I need my head cross-examined, but I believe the Black and Gold will prove their naysayers wrong; the Bruins won’t need to take drastic measures, (i.e., make a trade for Trevor Linden or some other proven veteran who can keep the youngsters from panicking at critical junctures) to improve. Look for a superior performance against the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight.

Until next time, dear reader, here's to jurisprudence.
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