November 09, 2011
If you've ever heard the tale of Guy Boucher's infuriating 1-3-1 defensive system but wondered just what, exactly it looks like, never fear: The Tampa Bay Lightning and the Philadelphia Flyers were more than happy to put together a 20-minute video tutorial.
As was plain as day for the entirety of the first period during Wednesday's tilt between the two teams in Tampa Bay, one guy is stationed way back in his own zone where he's of no use to anybody, three guys are stacked along the red line, and another guy hangs out at the opposing blue line to pressure the puck carrier once he enters the neutral zone.
It's pretty much impossible to miss, especially since nobody moves for the duration of this clip. You see, if the puck carrier never comes, then all five guys just wind up standing still in the neutral zone, presumably forever. Like so:
And that wasn't even the worst of it. Twice during the opening frame, this stalemate actually went on for long enough that the referees mercifully blew the play dead.
But the protests didn't end there. According to Pierre McGuire, the Flyers bench was standing and screaming insults at the Lightning, calling them cowards and the like. That's not fair. The Lightning aren't afraid of the puck; they're clearly afraid of Guy Boucher.
And why wouldn't they be? Guy Boucher is to Jacques Lemaire as Marlo Stanfield is to Avon Barksdale in "The Wire": colder, more extreme, more systematically evil.
But seriously, this tactic, which is more than a little reminiscent of the way the QMJHL's Rimouski Oceanic mocked the Montreal Ramparts' neutral zone trap last March, is pretty ridiculous. Seems like maybe the Flyers should at least try taking the puck up ice, no?
Pass or Fail: Philadelphia's stall tactics versus the Tampa Bay trap.