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Cap Trap: Yay or Nay?

View Poll Results: Cap Tray: Yay or Nay?
Yay! 7 26.92%
Nay! 19 73.08%
Voters: 26. You may not vote on this poll

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Old
02-11-2007, 11:39 AM
  #1
Langway
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Cap Trap: Yay or Nay?

It's been the subject of recent controversy, as the team vehemently denies it has resorted itself to a neutral-zone trap. However, a good look at the system in place sure resembles one.

My (additional) questions are:
- Is this going to get disinterested hockey fans interested and entertained by the Caps' on-ice product? (We've seen some of the worst offensive efforts all year recently, after they started playing ultra-conservative.)
- If this is merely a temporary system in place while the likes of Pothier & Erskine are injured, why bother treading water on a patchwork system and get away from your typical game plan when it so significantly alters the activity of the forwards? They've managed to cut down on the goals against but it seems to have cut down on their goals for even moreso.
- This system is a vast departure from their previous system of puck pursuit and aggressive forechecking. If this isn't just a temporary fix, is this a good long-term developmental system for the team's young defensemen & forwards?

After the Rangers game, Hanlon sounded at a loss for any sort of remedy for the club's current problems:
Quote:
"We tried as hard as we could and we weren't there. I don't have much, really. At the end of the night, we were beat by a better hockey club....

Maybe I'm just tired and cranky with these things but I don't have any real answers."
I grant that Hanlon wasn't given much in the way of personnel to work with by GMGM but this institution of a trap seems to have killed the team's character. They don't seem like they're playing to win anymore...just not to lose.

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02-11-2007, 12:19 PM
  #2
Foy
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We have two of the most exciting forwards in the league, and a lineup full of good forecheckers. Let's get aggressive.

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02-11-2007, 12:20 PM
  #3
Devil Dancer
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I say "Yay" for now. The Caps have been playing pretty well in the trap games, and if the PP hadn't completely disappeared they would have won four in a row.

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Old
02-11-2007, 01:41 PM
  #4
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Trap or no trap they've been playing terrible hockey as of late. Absolutely no offense whatsoever. You've gpt 3 players trying to cycle the puck down low. They give the puck up it goes to the other side of the ice. No one there to cover or apply any pressure to keep the puck in the offensive zone and the opposing team comes out of their zone untouched.

And the PP sucks. No puck control at all. No passing or cycling of the puck and when OV tries to carry the puck in himself and gets met at the blueline he drops the puck behind him and there's no one there to pick it up. I don't know how many times I've seen him do this in the past month or so. You figured by now they would try something different.

Just venting here guys, getting very discouraged...

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02-11-2007, 11:04 PM
  #5
RandyHolt
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Nay. Trapping won't change the fact that we have a weak defensive corps, and it limits our 2 strengths of our team (Alex's). It may be pressuring us to score more on power plays, but without a good offense, you wont get as many power plays.

IMO implementing it in the middle of a relatively successful season (considering that we are rebuilding) is not a good idea, and is doomed for failure for the first few games or weeks too.

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Old
02-11-2007, 11:52 PM
  #6
The Viking Fury
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If we could trap and win games then maybe i'd even vote in this poll

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02-12-2007, 01:30 AM
  #7
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I think the gist of the question is whether exciting hockey will sell ticket.

Wins sell tickets more than exciting hockey. Particularly in a market like washington where the hockey IQ and demand for style is reasonably low.

I'll spend money to see a 2-1 win long before a 6-4 loss.

two elite forwards and a bunch of grinders sounds like a trap roster to me. Since if you use the grinds as attack dogs on the forecheck you hang your young defensemen out to dry to hold to fort. Honestly thats dumb.

The harder the forecheckers attack the less they are they to support the defense even though they have the skills to do it.

Ask yourself a different question...Are Jurcina and Schultz nearly so successful as they have been playing the old puck pursuit game?

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02-12-2007, 11:38 AM
  #8
Langway
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I disagree that boring wins sell more tickets than exciting losses, just ask New Jersey how that's working out for them. (They only sell a couple hundred more tickets than the Caps.) It's also worth noting that there are a vast number of types of games that result in 2-1 & 6-4 results ranging from disorganized, sloppy hockey to polished defensive battles and everything in between. Not every 2-1 game is playoff-calibre hockey, particularly one like the Caps & Isles played on Super Bowl Sunday when neither team displays much energy.

The gist of my question was if the trap is more than a short-term fix, is it the right system for the Caps to play going forward in their development?
Quote:
two elite forwards and a bunch of grinders sounds like a trap roster to me. Since if you use the grinds as attack dogs on the forecheck you hang your young defensemen out to dry to hold to fort. Honestly thats dumb.
...and yet they still get hung out to dry by those very same forecheckers when they've trapped. Every team faces instances when the forwards get caught, unless you don't forecheck at all. This is going to happen and I don't think this roster, up front, has the speed and intelligence necessary to be a successful trapping club. The Caps have decided to get away from 'Caps hockey' and I question the long-term benefits of such a departure (wins and losses aside) in terms of their collective development.

Look at New Jersey and the level of intelligence their forwards display both offensively & defensively and it blows away the Caps, who have a hard time putting more than one pass together or reading opposition defenses, finding their weak points and playing well without the puck. Hanlon might as well not even play the fourth line because the forechecking energy they provide isn't going to carry over. Its only use now becomes to drop the gloves now and then, which hasn't done much for their collective intensity lately either.
Quote:
Ask yourself a different question...Are Jurcina and Schultz nearly so successful as they have been playing the old puck pursuit game?
It's impossible to say for Jurcina, as the Caps started to trap in his first game against Pittsburgh. As for Schultz, he looked steady to me before they switched over to the trap. He required the forwards to stay back to help him clear the zone and was vulnerable against top speed guys but, otherwise, was fairly responsible.

My understanding is that the defense as a whole had been making so many coverage errors that it was believed otherwise uncorrectable. Normally you'd see three or four coverage mistakes per game whereas the Caps D was committing upwards of 20+ per game. The only solution was believed to be to keep a forward back and clog the neutral zone at the detriment to their forechecking and offensive focus. That style of play is like putting training wheels on your defense and putting a collar around your offense. I don't just see the developmental use of instituting a trap. It provides a quick fix to a problem that is bound to continue until the root cause, the bad reads by the defense, is corrected. Otherwise, you're still going to get the same mistaken decision-making made either while on the PK or against the speedier and better passing teams during even-strength.

Here's a counter-question: have the forwards as a whole been nearly so unsuccessful as they have been playing the new trap game? They look even more lifeless than before. Statistically speaking, you're beginning to see the offensive progress made compared to last year dwindle away despite the addition of Semin.

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02-12-2007, 11:43 AM
  #9
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I say “yay” for now ---- right now the rearguard is extremely inexperienced and needs the “safety net” of a simplified game … and the forwards, well, that back six group (sans Gordon and Brashear (who is in a category unto himself)) has just been downright awful. If they were better, the top six could be afforded a bit more offensive freedom.

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02-12-2007, 11:43 AM
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It's absolute ****.

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Old
02-12-2007, 12:26 PM
  #11
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Absolutely YAY!

It will make for a quick ascension up the standings ladder while providing the team with much needed defensive posture.

If the last 5 games have been any indication then Caps fans should be in for a treat down the final stretch of the season.

Buckle your seatbelts boys and girls!

GO CAPS!


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Old
02-12-2007, 01:07 PM
  #12
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I feel along simliar lines as id does regarding the trap as a quick fix considering the team was seriously slumping due to injuries on the dside finally catching up. I just hope it is not long term. I can understand Hanlon switching to it considering he is fielding 5 dmen who are 24 and younger. I just hope it is a temporary thing as it is not fun to watch and over the long term I don't think it helps the dev of the offense.

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02-12-2007, 01:08 PM
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foy View Post
We have two of the most exciting forwards in the league, and a lineup full of good forecheckers. Let's get aggressive.
None of which seem able to get the job done of late.

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02-12-2007, 01:14 PM
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HockeyCritter View Post
None of which seem able to get the job done of late.
Ummm....sorry but Gordon/Pettinger/Zednik have downright dominated at times. Just bad breaks that prevented them from scoring.

That and terrible officiating mixed with hot goaltending. Lundquivst was sensational or else we would have won that game on Sat night.

Once Semin breaks out of his slump we'll be fine.

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Old
02-12-2007, 01:39 PM
  #15
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They better play the trap, with BJ in net, were done.

Quick hint to Mr. Johnson , stay the hell in the net!

You look like Beaupre out there, Beaupre at least , could make a save once or twice a game.

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02-12-2007, 02:47 PM
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ALEX THE 8 View Post
You look like Beaupre out there, Beaupre at least , could make a save once or twice a game.
Only if they didn't go 5-hole.

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Old
02-12-2007, 03:00 PM
  #17
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"Cap Trap" = four guys in a box formation along the boards at each side of the ice at each blue line watching the opposition carry the puck right up the middle. Seriously, the Caps didn't look like they understood what a trap is anymore than a retarded mouse. I really think I'm going to have to stop watching, much less actually using my tickets.

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Old
02-12-2007, 03:05 PM
  #18
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You guys know what REALLY irks me about the Trap?

The past 2 years we havent been horrendous in allowing/stopping odd man rushes against....most of the goals scored against us have come from the other team cycling in our zone or scoring on the PP.

Neither of these two things can be effectively handled via the trap. Our problems rest in our own zone and the trap does little to help that.

On top of it does it really not seem like we are not playing to our strengths????

At least Teflon Ron Wilson used the trap because he had a 60 year old center as his best player up front and needed to preserve him.

Hanlon really has no excuse.

Just when I thought it couldnt get worse...Hanlon goes with the trap...

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02-12-2007, 03:05 PM
  #19
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I despise the trap but if they are going to use it at least there are some practices this week they can work on it. Watched a bit of the Tampa game sunday...they were playing very well.

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02-12-2007, 03:10 PM
  #20
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**** the trap.


we're gonna lose - lets have some fun doing it & just maybe have some of our younger guys learn to trust in themselves, not a wonky defensive system...

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Old
02-12-2007, 03:43 PM
  #21
HockeyCritter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinordi24 View Post
Ummm....sorry but Gordon/Pettinger/Zednik have downright dominated at times. Just bad breaks that prevented them from scoring.

That and terrible officiating mixed with hot goaltending. Lundquivst was sensational or else we would have won that game on Sat night.

Once Semin breaks out of his slump we'll be fine.
Now you're reaching.

Pettinger has been a huge disappointment this season and Zed's been out too long to make his mark on this team.

I do agree that St. Pierre should never, ever be allowed near an NHL rink.

However, Lundquvist was not the reason the Rangers won. He made a big save or two when he had to (and he didn't really have to all that often) .... the Caps inability to effectively cycle the puck, clear the zone, or enter the attack zone with speed is why they did not earn two points on Satruday.

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02-12-2007, 03:55 PM
  #22
EYEuhFRAYtee
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Nay

Ever since they started using this half arse system it's been hard to watch the games, so boring. So intead of losing 6-4 we lose 2-1 whoopie! We have been on the road for a lottery pick for the last month, I atleast want to see the A1 and A2 pile on some points.

As Tinner pointed out...most of our issues are with our end of the ice which the trap really doesn't do anything to help.

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Old
02-12-2007, 04:15 PM
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HockeyCritter View Post
Now you're reaching.

Pettinger has been a huge disappointment this season and Zed's been out too long to make his mark on this team.

I do agree that St. Pierre should never, ever be allowed near an NHL rink.

However, Lundquvist was not the reason the Rangers won. He made a big save or two when he had to (and he didn't really have to all that often) .... the Caps inability to effectively cycle the puck, clear the zone, or enter the attack zone with speed is why they did not earn two points on Satruday.
Its sad but ever since we installed the trap our best line has been Pettinger/Gordon/Zednik....and they stink.

What hanlon wants out of the team is to dump and chase the puck...problem is we arent built for that kind of game...we dont have Dahlen and Konowalchuck...we have Semin and Ovechkin...it makes no sense to play the trap.

I was being sarcastic...if we didnt get those two bounces we would have been shutout in one of the easiest shutouts in NHL history. The only people that refuse to believe this are Hanlon and McPhee.

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02-12-2007, 04:23 PM
  #24
HockeyCritter
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Sometimes you have to be lucky to be good ...... and the Rangers had their share of luck as well (like NOT calling the offsides that lead to their third goal or the slash that lead to their fourth goal).

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Old
02-12-2007, 04:32 PM
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HockeyCritter View Post
Sometimes you have to be lucky to be good ...... and the Rangers had their share of luck as well (like NOT calling the offsides that lead to their third goal or the slash that lead to their fourth goal).
With all due respect...the Caps had 2 scoring chances thru 2 periods....you dont win games that way.

In the third I counted 2 more....one where Ovechkin missed on a fluke breakaway..

So 2 of our 4 scoring chances came off bad board bounces....

Unless we planned on winning the game by not scoring a goal this wasnt an effective strategy.

The trap isnt for us.

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