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Tampa 1-3-1 And Possible Nhl Intervention


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For all who watched the game, you saw that when Tampa went into the 1-3-1 trap that the Flyers did not move the puck and stood there with it waiting until Tampa forechecked. At one point in the beginning of the game almost a minute elapsed before the ref blew the play dead and called for a faceoff.

Some people ripped the Flyers for simply standing there and not skating but I applaud them for approaching it that way. The Bolts 1-3-1 is nothing more then a glorified neutral zone trap where the funnel the puck carrier or force passes to create turnovers. There is no forecheck and they simply wait for the opponent to come to them and force the turnover.

To me it is garbage hockey and no better then the Left Wing Lock made famous by Detroit and the Neutral Zone Trap by the Devils.

So I thought it was great of Lavy to simply not move the puck and force the Lightning to come out of it. Much like in basketball when you want to force a team out of a zone into man to man the point guard holds the ball until they come out.

Matthew Barnaby talked about it on ESPN News last night and said it was a disgrace to hockey (like he wasn't) and he felt bad for people who saw that game as their first game. He said the NHL will definitely be talking about it when the Board of Governors meets.

So what is your opinion and how would you address it?

I don't blame the Flyers as while a trap isn't illegal they shouldn't have to play into it. What the NHL needs to do is address it immediately. To me the neutral zone trap killed hockey when the Devils employed it to win several cups. The trap also allowed less talented expansion franchises to compete. All in all it was bad for the game.

To me it is as bad for the game as the clutching and grabbing and the trap days.

To address it the NHL needs to enact a rule with a penalty for a delay of game for a team caught playing a trap. The league would need to clearly define that the forechecker must be moving forward and be across the blue line and that no more then two players can be in the neutral zone unless covering an opposing player. Something along those lines. It's pretty obvious when a team is playing a trap and the referee needs to warn them and the coach to come out of it or they will be penalized for delay of game.

Creating a delay of game penalty for a team playing the trap would prevent that 1-3-1 garbage we saw last night and open up the game more by providing more flow and scoring chances. Hell, Bettman almost ruined the game now with his penalty fests and phantom holding and hooking penalties and to me the trap is even a bigger issue then that.

Appreciate your thoughts.

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I, didn't hear anyone rip the Flyers. On the contrary the entire board at TSN2 was on their side (Milbury walked out of the studio, for the rest of the game, in protest of a style that ruins the game) and the other guys were getting emails and tweets (God I hate that word) from NHL players backing the Flyers move.

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I feel your frustration, but I think trying to 'legislate' the trap out of the game is the wrong approach.

Every system has flaws, and it is up to the coaches of other teams to exploit those flaws. And as they pointed out on the VS broadcast, despite this magical trap, the Lightning is 23rd in goals against per game this year, and they were 22nd last year. Clearly, it can be exploited.

Maybe Laviolette hasn't figured out how to counter it yet. We've always had problems against teams who play the trap, even pre-Lavi.

Should they tell goalies they have to play stand up because butterfly style prevents too many goals? Absolutely not. Players learned how to create more traffic and redirections to score.

Anyway, I'm not defending TB's boring style of hockey so much as hoping the league doesn't yet again try to interfere with the game. Let the players and coaches figure it out.

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I'm going to disagree and agree with you Bre. The trap has ruined the best sport in the world. I mean it's still the best sport, but watching teams that trap is a horrible experience. All sports are becoming over coached, and hockey is just another one. Must be great being the defenceman on Tampa standing in their own end while the play is inside the other teams blueline.

And you're right, Laviolette should be figuring a way to exploit it. And he tried. And it made the game even more boring. Hurray!

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I think it is weak to play the 1-3-1 pseudo trap, but there are ways to beat it, especially with two line passes gone.

Why couldn't the Flyers either send someone deep to hustle into the offensive zone, or play a game of dump and chase?

Again, I like how Lavy handled it, but I don't think we need the refs to determine and penalize strategy now.

Insanity.

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I'm going to disagree and agree with you Bre. The trap has ruined the best sport in the world. I mean it's still the best sport, but watching teams that trap is a horrible experience. All sports are becoming over coached, and hockey is just another one. Must be great being the defenceman on Tampa standing in their own end while the play is inside the other teams blueline.

And you're right, Laviolette should be figuring a way to exploit it. And he tried. And it made the game even more boring. Hurray!

Hey, I agree with the fact that it's super boring to watch. But, some of the suggestions they were talking about last night were just ridiculous. One of the commentators said they should have a rule that prevents skaters from skating backwards in the neutral zone.

I just don't see how TB is breaking any rules. It sucks, it's boring, but it's a system that forces opponents into turnovers. Surely, we can find a way around it.

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I, didn't hear anyone rip the Flyers. On the contrary the entire board at TSN2 was on their side (Milbury walked out of the studio, for the rest of the game, in protest of a style that ruins the game) and the other guys were getting emails and tweets (God I hate that word) from NHL players backing the Flyers move.

I did think that was funny that Milbury walked out. I fully expected him to walk back in but he didn't.

Have you noticed any other teams freeze the puck like the Flyers do? I haven't seen many Lightning games but the ones I have, I haven't noticed. I love the fact the Flyers draw attention to it.

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I feel your frustration, but I think trying to 'legislate' the trap out of the game is the wrong approach.

Every system has flaws, and it is up to the coaches of other teams to exploit those flaws. And as they pointed out on the VS broadcast, despite this magical trap, the Lightning is 23rd in goals against per game this year, and they were 22nd last year. Clearly, it can be exploited.

Maybe Laviolette hasn't figured out how to counter it yet. We've always had problems against teams who play the trap, even pre-Lavi.

Should they tell goalies they have to play stand up because butterfly style prevents too many goals? Absolutely not. Players learned how to create more traffic and redirections to score.

Anyway, I'm not defending TB's boring style of hockey so much as hoping the league doesn't yet again try to interfere with the game. Let the players and coaches figure it out.

I hate all the league has done with adding another ref and calling all the ticky tack borderline calls to eliminate the clutching and grabbing BUT I think the league has to do something for this. Milbury and others were right that it is crappy hockey and there are limited ways in which to attack the trap and many teams don't have that type of puck carrying defenseman to help break it.

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Hey, I agree with the fact that it's super boring to watch. But, some of the suggestions they were talking about last night were just ridiculous. One of the commentators said they should have a rule that prevents skaters from skating backwards in the neutral zone.

I just don't see how TB is breaking any rules. It sucks, it's boring, but it's a system that forces opponents into turnovers. Surely, we can find a way around it.

They're not breaking any rules, they're just ruining the game. If I was a season ticket holder and my team played that 1-3-1, I'd demand my money back.

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I did think that was funny that Milbury walked out. I fully expected him to walk back in but he didn't.

Have you noticed any other teams freeze the puck like the Flyers do? I haven't seen many Lightning games but the ones I have, I haven't noticed. I love the fact the Flyers draw attention to it.

Junior teams have done it before.

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Hey, I agree with the fact that it's super boring to watch. But, some of the suggestions they were talking about last night were just ridiculous. One of the commentators said they should have a rule that prevents skaters from skating backwards in the neutral zone.

I just don't see how TB is breaking any rules. It sucks, it's boring, but it's a system that forces opponents into turnovers. Surely, we can find a way around it.

But the Flyers did find a way around it - simply sit there and force them out of it. That is where the ref has to tell Tampa that if they don't come out of it or start forechecking then they will be given a delay of game.

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But the Flyers did find a way around it - simply sit there and force them out of it. That is where the ref has to tell Tampa that if they don't come out of it or start forechecking then they will be given a delay of game.

But isn't it the person with the puck that can cause a delay of game by not moving? Not sure on the rules around that one.

I'm interested to see if the league responds on what happened last night.

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But the Flyers did find a way around it - simply sit there and force them out of it. That is where the ref has to tell Tampa that if they don't come out of it or start forechecking then they will be given a delay of game.

I think that is the way to approach it because it basically is a delay of game. It becomes obvious enough when a team is doing it. I hate sighting tree hockey but when you have too many men in the paint, it is a penalty. They get one warning and then get penalized for each infraction afterwards. Something along that line would go a long way towards making the game more watchable.

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I think that is the way to approach it because it basically is a delay of game. It becomes obvious enough when a team is doing it. I hate sighting tree hockey but when you have too many men in the paint, it is a penalty. They get one warning and then get penalized for each infraction afterwards. Something along that line would go a long way towards making the game more watchable.

I have to disagree with the idea of a delay of game on the team not in possession of the puck. I don't fault the Flyers for what they tried but the delay in those instances was on them. The delay was basically Lavi saying "We can't beat your system and we aren't going to play until you try something we can beat." Sports just doesn't work that way unless you are talking about something illegal which the 1-3-1 isn't. Boring? OK. Illegal? Not so much.

At the end of the day, it is a system that can be beat. Otherwise, we'd be talking about the 7-time defending Stanley Cup Champion Tampa Bay Lightning. Like any new system introduced in any sport, someone will find a weakness somewhere and exploit it and everyone else will take note and the cycle will continue again.

Perfect example. I HATE the way the Patriots spread the field with 5-WR sets against the Steelers. That's not the football I grew up with. Short passes. Dink and dunk. To me, it's boring. But more often than not, it works. It "exploits" a weakness in the Steelers D. Not much they can do about it and the league can't outlaw 5-WR sets.

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That is where the ref has to tell Tampa that if they don't come out of it or start forechecking then they will be given a delay of game.

i have to disagree with this completely. you can't start getting into the league mandating a forecheck. yes, it's lame that tampa plays that system, but it isn't unbeatable. i liked that the flyers embarassed the lightning once or twice by illustrating how do-nothing their system is...but in the end, it was the flyers who refused to engage. in the end, any rule implimented would have to be that the posessing team must make an attempt to advance the puck, not that the defending team must commit in the offensive zone to facilitate the other team's breakout.

i don't really understand what the problem is, to be honest. with one man deep, the lightning are outnumbered in the neutral zone. it's a zone defense...the team in posession of the puck should be able to isolate and overload individual tampa players coming through neutral. you don't see a ton of 7 foot give-and-goes in the defensive half of the neutral zone, but they would cut through that "forecheck" like butter.

it's on the other teams to adapt and overcome. the trap of the late 90's hurt hockey, but that trap was accompanied by uncalled interference all over the place. it isn't the same now. now, the lightning, imo, are hurting themselves by sitting in an immobile and predictable zone defense that can be skated through. a bit of scouting, a bit of tape watching, and a few short, solid passes should create speed and outnumbered situations through the neutral zone. certainly nothing that needs to be legislated out of the game.

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I have to agree with @B21 and @aziz that the key is finding a weakness in the 1-3-1 rather than crying to the league to change the rules.

I remember several years ago when we faced a team in the playoffs that was using a variation of the trap (though I can't remember who... must be NJ, right??). Anyway, we got frustrated in the first two games, but our coach found a way to exploit it (pretty sure it was during Forsberg's tenure, so probably Stevens?) and our attack looked much different the rest of the way, and we effectively countered their trap.

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I think the strategy here should be: send 2 guys full speed toward the TB end, one guy hangs out in the neutral zone in case it goes wrong, and the D-man with the puck skates to the Flyers blue line and BLASTS IT at the closest TB player. I'd say ankle-high is about right, but a few up around the ears would incent a behavior change I think.

If it's Coburn shooting, chances are that the puck misses buddy and heads down the ice for a potential icing - but with our 2 forwards at full speed and the TB D-man stationary still, we should avoid the icing. If it connects, the puck is gonna bounce. But the 3rd forward stays home to defend.

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If it's Coburn shooting, chances are that the puck misses buddy and heads down the ice for a potential icing - but with our 2 forwards at full speed and the TB D-man stationary still, we should avoid the icing. If it connects, the puck is gonna bounce. But the 3rd forward stays home to defend.

hey, that's not bad. alternate version: given there is NO forechecking pressure, pass the puck to bryzgalov and have him lollypop it down the ice as all 5 guys blow through the neutral zone. given that tampa is literally standing in place, the icing get nullified and there'd be a brief 5-1.

that's the dumb thing about it. tampa is just asking to have their doors blown off by turning themselves into pylons out there. get it deep and hit them with speed.

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ass the puck to bryzgalov and have him lollypop it down the ice

What does that mean? High flip? If so, I like that, but I might try to land it right at the feet of one of their D and just when the puck gets their plow him. Sure, you'd get a charging penalty but not an interference penalty.

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I think the strategy here should be: send 2 guys full speed toward the TB end, one guy hangs out in the neutral zone in case it goes wrong, and the D-man with the puck skates to the Flyers blue line and BLASTS IT at the closest TB player. I'd say ankle-high is about right, but a few up around the ears would incent a behavior change I think.

If it's Coburn shooting, chances are that the puck misses buddy and heads down the ice for a potential icing - but with our 2 forwards at full speed and the TB D-man stationary still, we should avoid the icing. If it connects, the puck is gonna bounce. But the 3rd forward stays home to defend.

The problem with that is that TB had a defender playing (standing) about 4 feet in front of Rollie the entire time they were in the trap. The chances of the attacking team retrieving the puck would be slim if that guy has any speed at all.

The whole thing was a fkng joke, and I don't believe for a second that Milbury "walked out in protest." I bet anything he was already scheduled to leave the studio after 2. Whatever.

The trap sucks but zone hockey can be beat. I know the hockey cognoscenti want to pin the embarrassment on the Bolts but I was embarrassed for the Flyers most of all. You have the puck, it's on you to attack the opposing net. "We don't like the D" is a b.s. excuse. Yes it proved the point, it illustrated with exceptional clarity how boring and stupid the trap is. But in the end the Flyers just looked chicken.

Apparently Boucher won that war. 14 fkng shots on goal, nearly a club record. Highest-scoring team in the NHL manages One measly goal against a struggling goaltender. Not a good night for hockey, and especially bad for the Flyers.

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I feel your frustration, but I think trying to 'legislate' the trap out of the game is the wrong approach.

Every system has flaws, and it is up to the coaches of other teams to exploit those flaws. And as they pointed out on the VS broadcast, despite this magical trap, the Lightning is 23rd in goals against per game this year, and they were 22nd last year. Clearly, it can be exploited.

Maybe Laviolette hasn't figured out how to counter it yet. We've always had problems against teams who play the trap, even pre-Lavi.

Should they tell goalies they have to play stand up because butterfly style prevents too many goals? Absolutely not. Players learned how to create more traffic and redirections to score.

Anyway, I'm not defending TB's boring style of hockey so much as hoping the league doesn't yet again try to interfere with the game. Let the players and coaches figure it out.

Bre, exploit is what Lavi tried and reasonbly successively did. What you saw is probably the best reaction to the 1-3-1 and we see how horrible hockey that is.

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Bre, exploit is what Lavi tried and reasonbly successively did. What you saw is probably the best reaction to the 1-3-1 and we see how horrible hockey that is.

Are you sure you want to call Lavy's strategy successful? even "reasonably" successful? I think the results pretty much obliterate any hope of that.

14 SOG.

1 goal in 65 minutes.

Very little time spent in the Bolts' zone.

OT loss.

What exactly was "successful?" Showing the world how boring the 1-3-1 is? Well yes Lavy's strategy accomplished that.

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But isn't it the person with the puck that can cause a delay of game by not moving? Not sure on the rules around that one.

I'm interested to see if the league responds on what happened last night.

OK, throw the puck behind the net so no one has it but skate around in little circles about 10 foot away until they have to break the 1-3-1... Seriosly can't believe you are even remotly defending this. I don't want more power to the refs but.... Finally a team exposes this crap. ALL 29 other teams don't do this...

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Are you sure you want to call Lavy's strategy successful? even "reasonably" successful? I think the results pretty much obliterate any hope of that.

14 SOG.

1 goal in 65 minutes.

Very little time spent in the Bolts' zone.

OT loss.

What exactly was "successful?" Showing the world how boring the 1-3-1 is? Well yes Lavy's strategy accomplished that.

Strategy in exposing this crap.

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Are you sure you want to call Lavy's strategy successful? even "reasonably" successful? I think the results pretty much obliterate any hope of that.

14 SOG.

1 goal in 65 minutes.

Very little time spent in the Bolts' zone.

OT loss.

What exactly was "successful?" Showing the world how boring the 1-3-1 is? Well yes Lavy's strategy accomplished that.

And I DID say it was horrible hockey, that's the point.

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