Me, about an hour after the Flyers/Bolts stand-off:
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.
The NY Times, today:
The trapping issue emerged last Wednesday at Tampa Bay, when the Philadelphia Flyers refused to advance the puck against the Lightning’s 1-3-1 trap. The Lightning, in turn, refused to forecheck, so on several occasions totaling about four minutes of playing time, a Flyers defenseman stood motionless in his own zone with the puck while four Lightning players stood motionless at their various stations in the neutral zone and a fifth stood idle deep in his own zone.
It was a tactical standoff, brief and somewhat amusing, in a single game, but it drew plenty of attention. "I think it’s been called an embarrassing moment," Commissioner Gary Bettman said Thursday on his radio show. "We play 1,230 regular-season games, and in the course of seasons played things happen that are unusual, teams will do things that are unpredictable and unexpected."
Yet despite the singularity of the event, there will be discussion among the 30 general managers on Tuesday about whether something should be done about the trap. The focus may be on Lightning Coach Guy Boucher’s 1-3-1 trap, which is slightly different from the 1-2-2 used by other teams. One idea being talked about is a proposal to allow icing if a defending team goes into a passive 1-3-1.
Insert self-aggrandizing comment here. Mock said comment below.