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the professorPenalties

What’s a minor?: The majority of penalties called in the NHL are two-minute minors. If one player alone is flagged, the opponent gets a 5-on-4 power play. If players from both sides are caught, a 4-on-4 situation is created.

What’s a major?: The league's bench-clearing brawl days may be over, but there is still a fair amount of fighting. When opponents drop their gloves and engage, they are automatically called for a major penalty, which results in five minutes for each, but the teams continue to skate 5-on-5. If an official decides one of the two parties instigated the scrum in an unsportsmanlike manner, that player could be assessed an additional minor, good for two more minutes. In that scenario, the opponent would be awarded a two-minute 5-on-4. In all other cases, there is no loss of manpower for majors.

penalty boxWhat's a double minor?: With a rise in the amount of facial injuries, the league instituted a rule regarding high-sticking penalties. If a player high- sticks an opponent, causing him to bleed from the facial region, that player is given a double minor. That calls for four total minutes in the box. The Lightning's Pavel Kubina was the victim of such a penalty in the first period of Game 4. With Philadelphia's Simon Gagne off for four minutes, Fredrik Modin gave the Lightning a 1-0 lead on the power play.

When are penalty shots called?: Rarely. It's a judgment call, and when an official decides the infraction is great enough, he will point to center ice and a player is awarded the one-on-one with the goaltender. Stopping a player who has a clear path to the net; deliberately removing the goal to stop play; and non-goalies falling on the puck in the crease are some causes for penalty shots.

What are some other penalties?: Boarding is called when a player rams an opponent into the boards from behind. ... Cross-checking is called when a player hits an opponent with a stick held horizontally in both hands. ... Hooking is called when a player uses the stick to restrain an opponent. ... Slashing is called when a player uses both hands and chops at an opponent with his stick.
[AP photo]
Seven members of the Carolina Hurricanes, including Craig Adams, pointing, and Aaron Ward (4) crowd the penalty box during the third period of Carolina's 5-1 loss to the Lightning on Oct. 12, 2002, in Tampa.

– Compiled by Tim Sullivan

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