Dec 10, 2011, 2:38 PM EDT
The last meeting of the Philadelphia Flyers and Tampa Bay Lightning had the rare distinction of garnering league-wide attention for being boring. Peter Laviolette took it upon himself to make a statement that the Flyers weren’t going to play into Guy Boucher’s 1-3-1 trap, employing a stall tactic whereby the Flyers just waded around in their zone while the Lightning refused to forecheck.
It may have been boring from a hockey standpoint, but it certainly isn’t what you see every night on the ice. The tactic worked in some respects, but ultimately it seemed a failure to me. The highest scoring team in the league scored just once and lost, 2-1, in overtime. All signs point to another game of Hockey Chess tonight at the Wells Fargo Center though. Wonder how the home crowd will respond, and whether it will work if employed…
The Lightning are four points out of dead last in the Eastern Conference, with a 12-14-2 record, and they’re near the bottom in both goals scored and goals allowed. Boucher’s system isn’t exactly working. Hopefully the Flyers don’t stunt their attack too bluntly tonight.
They’ve won four in a row in a variety of ways, pulling ahead of the Eastern Conference pack for the moment. Meanwhile, Tampa had lost five in a row before beating the Rangers in a shootout on Thursday night. In the losses that preceded it, they’d given up four or more goals in four straight games.
The Flyers could use a win against Tampa, who have had their number lately.
No St. Louis
Tampa has also lost Martin St. Louis indefinitely after he took a puck to the face in practice, causing several fractures. Pretty crappy way to lose an ironman streak… St. Louis had played in 499 straight games…
They still have Steven Stamkos ready to rock though, and he’s among the league leaders in goals (16) and points (30).
We may have some updates closer to game time, but for now, what are your thoughts on the Trap vs. Stall possibilities for tonight? Should the Flyers scrap the stall? Or, if Lavvy employs it again, will the results be better this time?
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