Wednesday, March 12, 2008

My favorite four-rock rule call

You have hammer in a close game. They throw it top four, you throw a corner guard. They throw a really tight guard. Most teams elect to play the follow it down freeze, but I saw Howard's team play a board weight run back. You hit the guard (which you can't take out of play) onto a rock in the rings (which you can take out of play).

If you nut it -- in other words if you hit it perfectly straight back, then you leave a rock in the eight foot guarded behind your tight guard. It's not really a scoring rock, so you sort of have control of the end. If you hit the guard back on a little angle, you might even shoot it over to a wing, which is even better.

The real risk is trying the shot and missing the one in the rings. Since you're throwing board, you will remove the guard (even on the bigger ice surface), which results in a wasted shot.

But if you have confidence in your lead, I love this shot for a couple of reasons.

It will deflate the other team. Their lead just did the top four tight guard that usually means they control an end, and all of a sudden you throw the perfect counter punch. Plus, they will think twice about playing by the book shots against you because you seem to be playing from a different book.

it's a little thing, but it's the thing that's helping Ontario and Alberta steam roll. They make calls like this on a regular basis that rock most of the teams at the Brier into playing outside their games.

And FYI: Howard made this call versus Burtnyk. And even though it definitely didn't rock Kerry, I'll bet it rocked his lead.

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