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09-30-2013, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by SaintPatrick33 View Post
Even further back than that. I was talking to Killion and picking his brain about systems and he was telling me that the Leafs were regularly using a form of the trap back in the '60s. I never knew that.
Goes way back before even that SP. Art Ross is credited with creating the Neutral Zone Trap which he employed in the NHL called Kitty Bar the Door. Employed to neutralize a more talented/faster opponent tactically. I suspect though that he likely "borrowed" it himself, jigged it a bit from his earlier days as a player. Ironically he had like a 40yr feud with Conn Smythe, they never spoke to one another at Board of Governors meetings etc, the Leafs themselves however "borrowing" Ross's tactics for most of their history circa 1930's through the 60's.

Punch Imlach was a disciple of said system hockey and upon his arrival in Toronto after a few games behind the bench, Smythe gushing over Punch's total team defense first approach to the game, that he was "making the exact moves I would". Smythe in fact not really giving a whole lot of respect to high flyers, creative players with a scoring touch. Some of them "flighty" or worse, "drinkers". Guys like Carl Brewer & Frank Mahovlich, later Mike Walton & several others having a real problem with such an approach & Imlachs system. Yes it was successful but was it "hockey as hockey was meant to be played"? Wide open, like shinny? Hardly. You played your lanes, D-first or you didnt play at all. Fined if you left your lane, Benched, sent down for purely spurious reasons or traded.

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