Some thoughts inspired by the brilliance of Peter Laviolette


Should "zone" defenses, neutral zone traps, 1-3-1s (or however you want to dress them up) be against the rules? I have a better idea. Crazy. But better. 

(1) When Team A has possession of the puck in their own defensive zone, as long as no member of Team B has not yet entered the zone, Team A can ice the puck without stoppage; (2) If Team B, in the opinion of the near linesman, is making NO EFFORT to forecheck at all, the linesman raises his arm, which signals that passes across two blue lines (to a player from Team A who would otherwise be offsides) are allowed. When the linesman's arm is up, "three line" passes are allowed, and Team B had better start forechecking. When they do, or when the puck leaves the zone, the linesman puts his arm down. But when that arm goes up, Team A immediately sends a cherry-picker to stand in the slot and wait for the long bomb. 

That would end the trap pretty quickly, I think. 

Or you could just make refusing to forecheck a penalty for delay of game. (Simpler, but less fun.) 

Back to the specific Flyers gambit. I see a little Roger Neilson in Peter Laviolette. Anyone remember Neilson's ploy with the penalty shots? I think it was in the AHL, or juniors even. He realized that nothing in the rules prevented him from pulling the goalie on a penalty shot and putting a defenseman in. Next penalty shot against his team, he did it. The d-man waited in the crease, and as soon as the shooter touched the puck, the d-man charged out of the crease and chased him down. The shooter was so freaked out, he couldn't get off a good shot. They changed the rules soon after. Now you can't pull the goalie on a penalty shot, or in a shoot-out (I assume). 

As far as the Flyers' trolling the Bolts last night, I think I would push it even further. Why not leave the puck unattended in the slot. Just leave it there and have the defensemen slowly back away, daring the "1" in the 1-3-1 to come get it. At some point, the defensemen will be so far away from the puck that the "1" will have to go for it, at which point it's a race. 

Since refusal to play the puck is a penalty, I guess the way to do that is for the defensemen to pass the puck back and forth intentionally sloooooooowly and close to the "1", tempting him into the zone. 

Alternatively, have one defenseman (the one without the puck) charge at the "1" non-forechecker, and when the d-man is nearly to the guy, have the d-man with the puck intentionally pass it to "1", timing it so that if "1" accepts the pass, he is decimated by the on-coming defenseman, and if he "declines" the pass it's a break-out pass to one of Team A's forwards. 

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