Originally written on The Victory Formation  |  Last updated 11/10/11

So, that happened. A 1-3-1 is what the Tampa Bay Lightning have been playing for, oh, about 2 years now. Guy Boucher put in the system and it’s worked pretty well for a team that doesn’t really have a netminder it can rely on with consistency. That’s besides the point here though. It’s 40 seconds into a 60 minute hockey game. The Flyers have decided that they will now take their ball and go home rather than attempt to break a 1-3-1 zone. But what is all the talk of today?

Shot clock! Ban the zone! Fix the point systems in the standings for rewarding overtime games! It’s like Reverend Lovejoy’s wife embodied all the hockey fans today and turned them into defenders of stupidity. Here’s a novel concept: attack the trap, force Tampa out of it by scoring a goal, taking the lead and require the Lightning to forecheck.

Nah, we’ll just ***** about the standings rewarding ties instead. We’re good, thanks.

If this was something that took place with only 90 seconds or so left in the game, go right ahead. I’ll validate your argument along with your parking on your way out. This took place no less than five times during this game last night. Most notably during the Flyers first possession in the first period as you see above. Peter Laviolette with quite the strategy coming in. I can just see the Flyers meeting room before this game.

PL: OK fellas, here’s the plan. We’re going to hold the puck.

Danny Briere: And then…?

PL: Hold it some more. Just wait for it.

Chris Pronger: This is right up my alley. They’ll think we’re dicks for sure!

PL: I’m over here, Chris. Look at me.

To be serious for a moment, there’s no need to legislate zone defense out of the game in hockey. Nor is there any room for a shot clock in the game either. Now, you want to award a powerplay for a team repeatedly causing a delay of game (unlike the current rule which is bogus), you have my attention. Spare me the it’ll never happen-board of governors-needs to be approved by 30 team rationale.

If you can defend this practice with a straight face, kindly crosscheck yourself over the bench door. Grow up, Flyers. 28 other teams have played against this. I would suggest you do the same.


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