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I find it ridiculous how 'the trap' is blamed for slow pace of today's game

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Old
03-19-2004, 05:43 PM
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by senate
I think what is making hockey boring now a days is the defensive team just collapsing in front of the net. When they do that they take away the slot and keep all the shots to the periphery where they are easier for skaters to block. If they want to get more scoring they should either reduce the size of equipment skaters can wear so they can't fearlessly block shots anymore or they should find a way to stop five defends from amassing in front of the net - I don't know draw a box in front of the net and make it a whistle or penalties to have 4/5 defenders in it at any one time? I know people don't like how the trap slows down the game in the neutral zone but what makes trap teams boring is that once a team does get it in their end they just clog up the front of net and prevent any scoring chances.
Good point. I think it's a combination of both. Someone told me Murray Baron's shin pads were 11' or 12'.

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03-19-2004, 05:45 PM
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Profet
Even with a larger ice surface, the problem is getting shots that aren't at bad angles. Maybe the only solution is a drastic one. Fulltime 4 on 4 hockey.

It solves 3 problems:
  • Opens up the ice surface for those bigger bodies.
  • The trap becomes a lot harder, if not impossible to implement in its current form.
  • Decreases the amount of players in the NHL.

The third point is the most important. Over the last 15 years there has been a serious dilution in talent. If you shrink on ice man power and roster sizes, we have less Dale Purintons and Eric Godards in the league. Another aspect of this decision would be that with roster down sizing so does payroll. All without sacrificing any revenue.
I don't quite believe in the talent dilution argument. There were more Purintons 20 years ago than now, and the Purintons that play today are overall better skaters and much more sound positionally than they used to be. Well, excluding Purinton himself, that is. There's always some remnants. The economics is a whole 'nother debate.

Opening up the ice and making picks and interference harder can be accomplished with a larger ice surface, and as for bad angle shots, hopefully eliminating most of the clutch-and-grab, as well as some of the legal defensive plays (picks etc.), would lead to more and more effective rush plays, where bad angles aren't as much of an issue. Eliminating clutching would also give shifty forwards an honest chance of beating their defender one-on-one to get themselves into a better shooting position. And to be fair, most NHL-caliber forwards today are such terrific shooters they'll score even on fairly bad angles.

Full time 4-on-4 is a little too dramatic to turn to just yet, IMHO.

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03-19-2004, 06:40 PM
  #28
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Its a combination of better and bigger players, bigger goalies with more equipment, the trap (which contributes more to the boredom) and THE LACK OF CALLS ON OBSTRUCTION/INTERFERENCE. Even 10 years ago, you didn't have to worry about being poked, hooked, grabbed, etc. EVERY TEAM does it, but if they actually called it consistently, it would slowly weed itself out because players would get sick of being in the box all the time and their team on the PK.

Thank clutch-and-grab for low-scoring and crappy officiating/league management (BETTMAN!!)

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03-19-2004, 06:53 PM
  #29
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If you cant hit like Stevens or stick check like Lidstrom, you are likely a hack that resorts to hooking and holding and deserve to get a penalty for your incompetence.

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03-19-2004, 07:05 PM
  #30
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This is why not allowing the goalie to play it behind the line helps..... a lot.

Look, Lemaire's trap works so well because it is predicated on taking away speed. Rarely does Minnesota have 3 guys get caught deep either- but that's neither here nor there.

The problem lies in the fact that as soon as Minnesota(or Jersey) coughs up the puck in the offensive zone- the forwards look to slow up the counter attack by any means necessary.

As far as the Wild not being hurt by the "crackdown"(ha ha) on obstruction- that's because the morons cracked down on the wrong kind of obstruction.

"Aggressive" obstruction is called now more than ever. How many times have you seen a dman called for taking out a forward along the boards? A lot. and that's a shame. Obstruction shouldn't be a one on one battle- it should be slowing that forward down so that the dman has the advantage- so that the battle never takes place.

Passive obstruction is what the trap is all about- when its played as a rule(like in Minnesota). Other teams are guilty of it as well. Think of those old Buffalo teams- or Nashville of two season's ago. They didn't necessarily trap- but they did everything they could to take away speed.

Stop the goalie whining- don't allow the forwards/D to slow up a forecheck and you will get more hits, more turnovers, and more scoring chances- trap or not.

I have no problem with the trap- if a coach thinks thats what his team needs to do, fine.

My problem is with the strangle hold Lemaire's style of trap has on the flow of the game. Where the opposing team has to dump it in- without anyone in to forecheck because they are all fighting through hooks the minute their team gets the puck. Only to have the goalie waiting for the puck to send it around the other way....

I'm really interested in seeing what happens when they outlaw the goalie back there. We could very well see *two* strong forecheckers again being a viable option...

-fullmetalninja

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Old
03-19-2004, 11:14 PM
  #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SumOfUs
First of all, the trap is not the problem with the game today. It does not make the game slow and boring, it does not make a mediocre team better than they should be. ... The trap is not responsible for the clutching and grabbing..
IMO, the trap is easier for a player to execute than an effective forecheck... hence why you see expansion teams employ it so often (Minn is just one recent example). As such, you have a system that weaker players can find a place in, but when up against better talent, is the trap enough? Sometimes, but most times those less talented players have to hold on as well or hook. So, clutching and grabbing (especially in a crowded neutral zone) has been made worse by the trap.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SumOfUs
Now, what exactly is the trap and which teams use it? The trap is a very basic technique that has been used throughout all of hockey's history...
You might want to check your info here. It was definitely created in the 80s:
"His name is Putte (pronounced Poo-tay) Carlsson. He developed The Trap back in the mid-eighties while coaching Djurgarten in the Swedish Elite League."
(source: http://www.tsn.ca/columnists/james_duthie.asp?id=59333)
Now notice that since 1981-82 goal scoring has dropped from around 8 goals per game to around 5.5. Too much coincidence here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SumOfUs
..This system is not easy and requires incredible skill and hard work to play to a T the way they do it. I respect the Wild for that so much as it is not an easy game to play. .
But in all reality, it's the easiest way to make a mediocre team more effective, making it (logically) one of the easiest systems to employ (if it makes worse players play well against better players, what do you have to conclude?). You don't need as much speed and positional care as is required for other defensive schemes. The problem, of course, is that good teams are using the trap (ex NJ), and of course your trap will be better if you have better players to start with. I agree with those who say that part of the problem is lack of counter-attack aggression after the trap forces a turnover. All in all, though, the trap is obviously part of the problem, but not nearly the entire problem.

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Old
03-20-2004, 12:26 AM
  #32
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Little history lesson:

The trap originated in Sweden on the Djugarden team of the SEL in the 80's. Yes, 80's, not 40's. I can't recall the coaches name, but he invented the trap as an offensive system. Yes, offensive. The idea was to heavily forecheck players in the offensive zone to cause turnovers. He would have 4 of his players deep in the offensive zone hounding players to give up the puck, and it actually worked.

However, other coaches got wise, and began instituting 'traps' of their own. In a way, they found that 'trap beats trap', and those forecheckers who were in the offensive zone were pushed back.. and back.. until they ended up what it is now, 4 guys on the blueline.

Do say that the trap doesn't slowdown hockey is just being blind. The Minnesota Wild (god love their fans, and yes, they can be entertaining at times) play the neutral zone trap to a tee, and yes, it's as boring as hell. Ask fans of other teams after a game with the Wild, and rougly 75% of the time, they will tell you it was a boring game. Heck, go to the Bruins board right now. There is a thread on it on the first page still I think.

So yes, the neutral zone trap is A) boring, B) hasn't been around 'forever' as you say, and C) does slow down the game (that's exactly what it's used for. slowing down the forecheck and creating turnovers).

NOW.. that said, the trap CAN be made entertaining if you have one key ingredient.

Talented forwards who can skate

Yeah, hard to believe, but it works. The Sens trap. They use the neutral zone trap, and they aren't shy about it. Yes, it can be boring, but the Sens are oddly entertaining with their trap. Why? Because they have kick-ass forwards who can counter-attack effictivly.

The same goes for the Wings. Scotty Bowman's system (left wing lock) isn't the trap, but it's pretty close. And for the record, the 70's Habs may have used the lock, but I defy anyone to see for every 3 seconds more than 3 habs on the blueline if they look at those old games. Scotty may have used the left wing lock, but it was a mere version of it, and is nothing like what the Wings use today. But the Wings have.. talented forwards , so while they do play a defensive system, they are entertaining.

Where the problem begins is when you have a team that traps and they have untalented forwards. The biggest examples of which are the Minnesota Wild and the New Jersey Devils. And I may as well deal with this right now..

But Mizral! The Devils have talented forwards! And what about Gaborik?

Okay, Gaborik is entetaining, so he suits my arguement fine. Because he's got insane offensive talents.

But let's talk about the rest of the Wild. Who there has top-notch offensive talent? Maybe Bouchard, but that's years away. Outside of him? Not really anybody.

How about the Devils? Elias is a top notch offensive talent, and Kozlov can be when he wants to be. I'd actually include Gomez in here too. When these guys are on the ice, they can make things exciting, as I'm sure Devils fans know. But the Devils have many forwards (and I should also note, when I talk about talent, I am purely talking about offensive talent, or displayed offensive talent. For instance, Kozlov has incredible offensive talent but doesn't display it enough. Madden too, but because of his style of play, doesn't show it much either due to his defensive commitments) who flat out aren't top notch offensive talents. And here's where you get boring hockey.

In my opinion, the one team which doesn't get lambasted as a big offender of the trap, but in my mind is the #1 offender, is the Carolina Hurricanes. To me, that's the most boring hockey in the NHL, right there in Carolina. Nobody on that team has top notch offensive talent really (You could make a case for O'Neill, and Staal for sure but he isn't there yet). The Canes are boooooooring.

So anyways, the trap can be fun if you've got talented forwards . But if you don't, it really looks terrible. And yes, it is a big, big contributer to why hockey is having troubles drawing big crowds in cities like.. well.. Carolina and New Jersey. Minnesota can be excused since they have a crazy fan base.

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Old
03-20-2004, 12:42 AM
  #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mizral
.
How about the Devils? Elias is a top notch offensive talent, and Kozlov can be when he wants to be. I'd actually include Gomez in here too. When these guys are on the ice, they can make things exciting, as I'm sure Devils fans know. But the Devils have many forwards (and I should also note, when I talk about talent, I am purely talking about offensive talent, or displayed offensive talent. For instance, Kozlov has incredible offensive talent but doesn't display it enough. Madden too, but because of his style of play, doesn't show it much either due to his defensive commitments) who flat out aren't top notch offensive talents. And here's where you get boring hockey.
But the one place where the Devils maybe have more offense than other teams is with the defensemen (Neidermeyer, Rafalski and the emerging Paul Martin), so in whole they are a more balanced team than all the others when it does come to offensive talent.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mizral
So anyways, the trap can be fun if you've got talented forwards . But if you don't, it really looks terrible. And yes, it is a big, big contributer to why hockey is having troubles drawing big crowds in cities like.. well.. Carolina and New Jersey. Minnesota can be excused since they have a crazy fan base.
New Jersey has always been a rough place to draw crowds, there are reasons but I don't know if it's because of the style they play. For instance the other tenets in the same building, the New Jersey Nets, are one of the most exciting teams hands down in the NBA with stars such as Jason Kidd, Kenyon Martin and Richard Jefferson and have been to the NBA finals two years running, yet they get worse crowds than the Devils. If the average New Jersey sports fan is looking for excitement and won't go because supposely the Devils are boring how can we explain the Nets attendance?

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Old
03-20-2004, 09:47 AM
  #34
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good thread

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Old
03-20-2004, 10:14 AM
  #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Profet
There was a crackdown on obstruction? Which game was that? I must of missed it.
Yeah, there was, however short-lived it seemed.

My point was that when that was announced, everyone and their uncle was saying "Oh good, now the Wild won't be able to play the way they do." They assumed the Wild were guilty of a myriad of obstruction penalties every time a team tried to carry the puck through the neutral zone. The thing is, they weren't. I'm not saying they don't clutch and grab at all, but I would say they are on the lower end of the scale with it. A crackdown on the hooking and holding would benefit them, much to the surprise of many who think that's how they manage to defend so well. The Wild rely on speed far, far more than anything else to maintain their defensive system. I really would like to see them call the games much more tightly. People would be surprised.

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03-20-2004, 12:01 PM
  #36
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I don't have much time to reply right now, but I will reply in better detail later. Mizral: Yes, the trap was officially started in the 80s but in fact it was played long before it was technically invented. You see, when you have a lead it's common sense or even instinct to protect it. Offensive players would sit back in the neutral zone and play defense. It wasn't a tactic, but they still did it subconsciously.

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03-20-2004, 12:17 PM
  #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SumOfUs
I don't have much time to reply right now, but I will reply in better detail later. Mizral: Yes, the trap was officially started in the 80s but in fact it was played long before it was technically invented. You see, when you have a lead it's common sense or even instinct to protect it. Offensive players would sit back in the neutral zone and play defense. It wasn't a tactic, but they still did it subconsciously.
Above is your key phrase. yes teams used to play differently when they had a lead.

Now far too many teams play that style when the score is tied, or even trailing by a goal.

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03-20-2004, 12:25 PM
  #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Flyers Fan
Above is your key phrase. yes teams used to play differently when they had a lead.

Now far too many teams play that style when the score is tied, or even trailing by a goal.
Yes but even if that is a problem, which it's not imo, the system is not at fault, the teams are.

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Old
03-20-2004, 03:22 PM
  #39
Mizral
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SumOfUs
I don't have much time to reply right now, but I will reply in better detail later. Mizral: Yes, the trap was officially started in the 80s but in fact it was played long before it was technically invented. You see, when you have a lead it's common sense or even instinct to protect it. Offensive players would sit back in the neutral zone and play defense. It wasn't a tactic, but they still did it subconsciously.
What JohnFlyersFans mentions is also legit, but you have a warped thought of what the trap is if you thought it was all that prevelant in the 80's and 70's.

Yes, tough defense was of big importance in the 70's, but NOTHING like the level that it is in now.

I can't agree with you in the least that the trap as we know it (ie: 4 guys standing up at the blueline, heavy obstruction through the neutral zone) ever existed before the early 90's, and was never super-prevelant until around 1997.

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Old
03-20-2004, 06:58 PM
  #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SumOfUs
It wasn't a tactic, but they still did it subconsciously.
So you'd agree that they didn't practise this subconscious system, and thusly that it wasn't an organized tactic, and thus can't really be called the trap? Exactly...


Last edited by s7ark: 03-20-2004 at 06:59 PM. Reason: spelling
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