Blog Entry

Flyers boring strategy for 'beating' 1-3-1 trap

Posted on: November 9, 2011 8:35 pm
Edited on: November 9, 2011 9:30 pm
 
By: Adam Gretz

When Guy Boucher took over as the Tampa Bay Lightning head coach last season and had the team within one game of reaching the Stanley Cup Final, his defense-first, 1-3-1 neutral zone trap was a big part of the team's success. Of course, like any system, it only works as long as the players buy into it. And based on the first period of Wednesday's game against the Philadelphia Flyers, they're committed. Very committed. Incredibly committed.

The Flyers strategy for defeating it? Do absolutely, positively nothing.

It was a bold move that was countered by the Lightning ... doing absolutely, positively nothing.

On a number of occassions in the first period on Wednesday, the Flyers simply refused to advance the puck out of their own zone, while the Lightning refused to apply any pressure on the forecheck. The result is perhaps the most boring highlight in the history of the NHL. This makes the the mid-late 90s clutch-and-grab, dead puck era look like the high-scoring 1980s.



And this happened on multiple occassions. If I had to guess, I would say that at least four-five minutes of the opening period was spent with the Flyers standing around in their own zone, with the Lightning standing around in the neutral zone, all while the paying fans in the stands let loose with a chorus of boos. It should also be pointed out that the Flyers entered the game as the highest scoring team in the NHL on a goals-per-game basis.

Pierre McGuire, who is analyzing the game from between the benches for the Versus Network, said the Flyers bench was standing up and openly mocking the Lightning players for refusing to apply a forecheck.

During a stoppage, McGuire interviewed Boucher and asked him what he told his players, and Boucher's response was simple: "Stick with our plan, not their plan."

Back in March, the Rimouski Oceanic of the QMJHL tried a similar strategy against the Montreal Juniors (video via Twitter).

Brilliant strategy, or an admission that you have no idea how to beat the system? Or do you blame the Lightning for playing such a passive brand of hockey? Either way, if a team is going to try it over the course of an entire game, scoring first would appear to be an absolute must.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.

Comments

Since: Aug 25, 2010
Posted on: November 10, 2011 3:08 pm
 

Flyers boring strategy for 'beating' 1-3-1 trap

Personaly I don't think either team was in the wrong.

Excuse me, Dust601 ... but do you have any idea WHY we invented the games we now call professional sports?

To PLAY.

We have scoreboards so we can keep track of the WINNER ...

Because the first thing we learn when we play a sport is HOW DOES ONE WIN THE GAME?

In North America, we need runs, points and goals to WIN the game.

The ONUS is for both teams to SCORE. If you're on offence, it is YOUR TURN.

PLAY the game, Flyers.



Since: Aug 25, 2010
Posted on: November 10, 2011 3:01 pm
 

Flyers boring strategy for 'beating' 1-3-1 trap

Philly did nothing wrong. Just makes for a really boring game that turns off fans.

Hilarious!

Don't you see the contradiction?

So ... according to your statement, dcn ... The Flyers play paddy-cake, paddy-cake with the puck in their own, the fans boo, leave the rink, stop buying tickets ... and at the end of the season when the team has lost millions, the owner asks the coach WTF happened?!

The coach shrugs his shoulders and says, "We did nothing wrong."

ROTFLMAO!




Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: November 10, 2011 2:56 pm
 

Flyers boring strategy for 'beating' 1-3-1 trap

Not sure I want to see a shot/play clock.  Teams will figure out how to beat that zone and render it useless.  I think Laviolette was trying to prove a point that his team is better disciplined or something.  Kind of a d**k measuring contest between coaches.



Again, agreed. 

the only thing I really didn't like about the game/story would be the Flyers players calling the Tampa players obscene names for not forechecking when it is the same Flyers who wouldn't advance the puck.

That would be like James Harrison calling Ray Lewis a dirty player.



Since: Aug 25, 2010
Posted on: November 10, 2011 2:53 pm
 

Flyers boring strategy for 'beating' 1-3-1 trap

I'm a hockey person ... and I BLAME the Flyers.

Copafubol, you reference the NBA and then conveniently (?) forget the history of the sport.

Zone defences have been legal in the NBA since 2001. They were introduced to speed up play and increase scoring.

With hockey players skating around at 30 mph and pucks ricocheting around at 100 mph, it is uncontestedly the FASTEST TEAM SPORT.

You expect me to believe a hockey team can't get past a 1-3-1 defense? Have you heard of the Left Wing Lock? Can you say "Team Meeting After The Game" ... so we can ... "Figure It Out"?

Put your thinking caps on Flyers and pay close attention to the following Game Plan: Pass. Shoot. Score.

Read the instructions again, you knuckle-draggin Neanderthals.





Since: Nov 21, 2006
Posted on: November 10, 2011 2:50 pm
 

Flyers boring strategy for 'beating' 1-3-1 trap

"Sorry, a little bit wrong here.  Tampa went to play defense, keep the puck from going in there net.  Philly went to do nothing, no offense, which is supposed to try and put the puck in the net, nothing."

Actually, if you can call Tampa standing around doing nothing playing defence by keeping puck from getting in net.  Why can't you argue Flyers holding the puck.  Keeping it off of the Lightning players sticks so they can't score isn't playing defence also? 
Your splitting hairs.  You can't have it both ways.  Either both teams were in the wrong, or neither team was in the wrong.  Personaly I don't think either team was in the wrong.



Since: Aug 25, 2010
Posted on: November 10, 2011 2:44 pm
 

Flyers boring strategy for 'beating' 1-3-1 trap

Not one HOCKEY person last night blamed the Flyers.
I'm a hockey person ... and I BLAME the Flyers.

It's great that you use a basketball reference, Copafutbol, and then FORGET the history of the sport you referenced!

Zone defences were illegal in the NBA until the 2001-02 season. They were introduced to speed up play because scoring was down due to "illegal defences".

Hockey is a much faster sport than basketball -- so your comparison is on, uh ... thin ice. Players can skate 30 mph and fire the puck at 100 mph. Hockey is the fastest team sport for a reason.

And nobody is going to eliminate hockey's "box" penalty-killing defence, right?

Give your heads a shake and figure out the trap, Flyers. Spend 12 hours in a meeting room and maybe you can also figure out how to keep the NBA players OFF the court. Oh, wait. They're STILL off the court. Excellent ...

MOVE the freakin' puck!





Since: Sep 28, 2010
Posted on: November 10, 2011 2:42 pm
 

Flyers boring strategy for 'beating' 1-3-1 trap

Tampa Bay Lightning were rated #2 in Fan favorite sport franchise behind the Green Bay Packers. Bolts fans love Yzerman and Boucher and any defensive strategy that sets us apart. Bucs fans love the fact the other teams now use the Tampa 2 defense. Bolts attendance has gone up every game since the start of the season and the fans will continue to pour in and support the Tampa 131 defense and boo any team too afraid to try to advance the puck through.



Since: Apr 25, 2008
Posted on: November 10, 2011 2:25 pm
 

Flyers boring strategy for 'beating' 1-3-1 trap

 
guess they should start penalizing teams that wont advance out of the back ice/field then? Just like basketball and how there is a shot clock in football. After all, it is the offenses job to attack and score while the defenses job to prevent that from happening.
Not sure I want to see a shot/play clock.  Teams will figure out how to beat that zone and render it useless.  I think Laviolette was trying to prove a point that his team is better disciplined or something.  Kind of a d**k measuring contest between coaches.



Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: November 10, 2011 2:22 pm
 

Flyers boring strategy for 'beating' 1-3-1 trap

Philly did nothing wrong. Just makes for a really boring game that turns off fans. I think you can beat that zone pretty easily if you organize the rush correctly, hit the blue line with speed as the puck is being dumped deep and then hammer the lone dman or any opposing player that touches the puck. 


I actually agree with everything you said here.  You are a true hockey fan.  Find a way to beat the zone, everything has a weak spot, find it and exploit it.  If I remember right, last playoffs, teams were starting to find a way to beat the 1-3-1




Since: Dec 26, 2006
Posted on: November 10, 2011 2:20 pm
 

Flyers boring strategy for 'beating' 1-3-1 trap

Good for the Flyers. Tampa played their style of hockey, so why can't the Flyers counter???? Maybe if the Flyers had won, this wouldn't be an issue.


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