Count [Jacques] Lemaire among those who will be glued to the television during the Finals. Currently relaxing at his place in Florida, Lemaire has been enthralled by the entire playoffs. He says he has noticed a pattern that likely will alter the NHL landscape a bit next season.
“Looking at where the league is going, it’s going to be a little more aggressive,” he said. “We went the other way for a while. The hitting was there. Now, it’s a little more than that. You see the scrums after the play. They’re pushing, fighting more.
“Every team will try that. Especially now that they see Anaheim doing so well. Everyone is talking about them. Everyone will take that road.”
Successful strategies always have been copied. Lemaire should know. There isn’t a team in the league that doesn’t use a trap. If something works, everybody wants in.
I've been thinking the same thing Lemaire stated since the start of the playoffs. I think though it is going to "tighten up" again at the start of next season, but the message is being clearly sent here that if you want to succeed in the playoffs...the rough stuff is the way to go.