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Who’s to blame for all the stalling nonsense?

Nov 10, 2011, 9:14 AM EDT

Guy Boucher Getty Images

By now you already know about how the Flyers opted to counterattack the Lightning’s 1-3-1 defensive alignment. By not attacking it all and stalling with the puck in their own end, the Flyers managed to create a fevered debate about who is right and wrong in this whole situation and the truth is everyone should be shouldering the blame.

Guy Boucher’s strategy is nothing new by him. He’s used the 1-3-1 since he’s coached in juniors and it frustrated the hell out of teams there to the point they’d do the same thing the Flyers did. Obviously, the critics of his defensive scheme are many. Chris Pronger wondered aloud (very loud) after the game why anyone would pay to see something that wasn’t hockey.

Even Boucher doesn’t have a supporter in legendary coach Scotty Bowman. Bowman was in attendance for last night’s display of civil disobedience and tactical play and felt that the league has to do something about Boucher’s scheme capping off his thoughts saying, “This used to be the fastest game on ice.” That’s big talk coming from the coach who used the “left wing lock” to shut teams down.

Boucher’s scheme runs sour because his 1-3-1 setup doesn’t have the lead forechecker do any pressuring of the puck carrier at all. Instead they sit in the neutral zone and wait, clogging things up and making it difficult to break through. By not challenging the play, that takes the spirit out of the game. Laying in wait is a perfectly legal strategy, but it’s a brutally boring one for what’s meant to be an exciting game.

source:  The Flyers aren’t blameless here though. Peter Laviolette is the first coach to seemingly take a stand on things and while he says his own attack scheme is based on having a forechecker pressure the play, that’s a coy explanation for actively causing a disturbance. By not bearing down and forcing Tampa to action, the Flyers take even more blame in this by making a game-slowing defense into a game-stopping situation. Famed coach Roger Neilson would’ve been proud of Laviolette’s curious stand.

Because of that, the threat of killing the pace of the game will make the NHL Board of Governors have to discuss things at the GM meetings next month. The last thing the league wants is a return of the “dead puck” era and see their product ground down into a mind-numbing bore fest.

Every team traps in their own different ways so blaming that in general is wrong. Regardless of who you support in this debate, the NHL will be forced to craft an answer for how to handle this.

  1. spiffy53 - Nov 10, 2011 at 9:23 AM

    the 1-3-1 is just a trap. it has zero entertainment value and is garbage. if every team played it, there would be no fans watching. i always dread watching the lightning play (similar to watching the devils back in the day). its bad for hockey. period

    • grudenthediva - Nov 10, 2011 at 11:47 AM

      It wasnt bad for hockey when they went three rounds and have tons of scoring. Versus (who clearly had an agenda) commented that this was “straight out of Washington’s playbook.”

      Now tell me how did that work out for them?

      Need a hanky?

      • spiffy53 - Nov 10, 2011 at 11:51 AM

        actually, no. the flyers only play tampa a handful of times each year and it was the tampa fans crying like babies in the stands. if that’s the product you want to watch, have at it. i will take watching the other teams that don’t deploy the trap to that extent. by the way, when the 1-3-1 gets eliminated before the playoffs, let me know who needs the hanky.

      • hystoracle - Nov 10, 2011 at 2:32 PM

        Flyers aren’t the only team the Lighting play. True the Bolts play Philly 4 times a year under the current setup. But they play 78 games against other teams.. They played through Pitts, Wash and took Boston 7 games playing the 1-3-1 among other facets of their system.

        If the 1-3-1 continues to have the success it did last night the playoffs will be a given.

      • spiffy53 - Nov 10, 2011 at 2:58 PM

        hystoracle, the lightning will make the playoffs, but the 1-3-1 will be modified by the rulebook before the all-star break.

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Nov 11, 2011 at 7:22 PM

      Simple solution is my Simple Icing Rule: If you and the puck are clear of your defensive zone, you may shoot it down the ice. If either you or the puck are still in your defensive zone when you shoot the puck down the ice, the whistle will be blown when the puck crosses the opponents’ red line, with the face-off in your zone, and like now, no substitutions may be made by your team. This icing rule is in effect regardless of whether either team is shorthanded due to a penalty. (Getting a penalty should not give the penalized team an advantage!)
      Presto, the 1-3-1 becomes useless and the game opens up.

  2. falstaffsmind - Nov 10, 2011 at 9:38 AM

    Debate who to blame all you want, but have an honest debate. As far as the ex-Flyers that litter Versus was concerned, the Flyers had every right to sit back and demand a forecheck. When the flyers decided not to skate the puck out, it was Tampa’s fault? BS.

    • imryanmac - Nov 10, 2011 at 3:16 PM

      Yes it is tampa’s fault.

      if a boxer stands in a corner waiting…. that is his agenda.

      if the opposition doesn’t come in a punch him, he’s stupid.

      • falstaffsmind - Nov 10, 2011 at 8:03 PM

        The Team with puck possession controls the rush, not the defensive team.

  3. falstaffsmind - Nov 10, 2011 at 9:42 AM

    And it’s easy to craft a rule. Failure to attempt to move the puck out in 10 seconds results in a defensive zone face off. That gives plenty of time for changes. Problem solved.

    • spiffy53 - Nov 10, 2011 at 9:44 AM

      they moved the puck after the first whistle. up and back. up and back. problem not solved.

      • falstaffsmind - Nov 10, 2011 at 11:02 AM

        They never crossed the blue line. An attempt must be made to cross the blue line within 10 seconds of gaining puck possession. In hockey 10 seconds is a long time.

      • spiffy53 - Nov 10, 2011 at 12:02 PM

        falstaffmind, how about this if you want a new rule. if 4 or more players of the team without the puck are in the neutral zone, any icing of the puck should be waived off. that will get it going.

      • hystoracle - Nov 10, 2011 at 2:34 PM

        Spiffy – that already exists.. If the flyers actually try to make a pass to one of those guys skating circles near the lightning blue line and it goes the distance the officials are already told to waive off icing in that instance..

      • spiffy53 - Nov 10, 2011 at 2:56 PM

        hystorcale, i am not talking about a pass. i am talking about a full clear from one end to the other. that would neutralize the final 1 in the 1-3-1. he is there to touch up for icing.

      • falstaffsmind - Nov 10, 2011 at 3:13 PM

        The 1-3-1 only really places 3 people in the neutral zone. The other two are stationed just across the blue lines.

      • spiffy53 - Nov 10, 2011 at 4:44 PM

        falstaffsmind, there are 4 guys in the neutral zone. as we saw last night, the 1 of the 1-3-1 sits pretty much on the blueline waiting for the defense to come up. moving forward a little and backward.

    • emoser - Nov 10, 2011 at 9:58 AM

      And then every team starts playing a trap and hockey becomes like soccer with 90% of the playing time being in the neutral zone. Not knocking soccer, but the style doesn’t work for hockey.

      • hystoracle - Nov 10, 2011 at 10:56 AM

        neutral zone isn’t that large… Flyers were camping out in there own end. 180 feet form the Lightning goal is a good place for them.

  4. icelovinbrotha215 - Nov 10, 2011 at 9:48 AM

    Why would any team want to skate into a trap? Pierre McGuire even said that the majority of texts (4 out of 5) he received from NHL players during the instance of the stalling tactics was the fault of the TB bolts. And anyone who has played ice hockey at any level would also agree. If your opponents are giving you space, you aren’t going to skate after them with the puck on your stick.

    • rca26 - Nov 10, 2011 at 9:54 AM

      With all due respect, an argument from Pierre McGuire, Comcast employee, concerning the morality of the Philadelphia Flyers, also Comcast employees, should not hold any water here.

      I wish these types of conflicts of interest didn’t exist in hockey, but here we are.

      Thank goodness Joe Yerdon, Comcast employee, is willing to at least look at both sides. McGuire, Milbury, Olczyk et al could learn a thing or two.

      • icelovinbrotha215 - Nov 10, 2011 at 10:09 AM

        Haha alright. Outside of the opinions of the ‘experts’, let’s use some logic. If you were the Flyers, would you be in rush to skate into 1-3-1 neutral zone trap? The Flyers didn’t do anything illegal. Does it make for good TV? Nope. But as a team you need to eliminate you opponents tactics. And that’s why I said that if you, or anyone else, has played ice hockey at any level you would expect your coach and team to do the same.

      • hystoracle - Nov 10, 2011 at 11:01 AM

        Teams have done it all season.. It isn’t like the Lightning are defensive juggernauts. Last game the won in OT coming back from a 3 goal deficit against the Panthers. The game before that they came back to win 5-4 against Chicago.. Chicago and the Panthers among other teams both figured out how to attack the system and score.

      • grudenthediva - Nov 10, 2011 at 11:49 AM

        If you consider Milbury, McGuire and the “oh I have friends that dont like this” approach to journalism as “expert”, you just said everything we need to know about you.

      • icelovinbrotha215 - Nov 10, 2011 at 12:09 PM

        I’m not considering them experts by any stretch. Idk if there are really any experts in the American market when it comes to the NHL. Hence the reason why I put the word in apostrophes emphasize sarcasm.

      • rca26 - Nov 10, 2011 at 12:19 PM

        @brotha, Flyers didn’t do anything illegal, but the insinuation that this is all Tampa’s fault is the baffling part. Of course Philly doesn’t want to skate into the trap – that’s because it’s a tough defense to break. Obviously they want Tampa to play an easier defensive style. They’re not going to, so tough. Figure it out.

        The Bruins figured out a counter for the 1-3-1 last year, and they got a Stanley Cup for their trouble. Just sitting and protesting it achieves nothing. A good team and a good coach (as much as it pains me to say it – such as the Bruins and Julien) should be able to solve whatever is thrown at them. To use the “waaah, this is killing hockey” argument rather than just manning up and figuring out a way to bust the trap, that’s just indefensible. Anyone with any level of hockey knowledge should be able to see that.

        Once the Flyers decided to put on their big boy pants and play hockey, they scored a goal, and by being ahead, they were able to dictate play. The Lightning found a way to counter and eventually get the game winner. That’s hockey. It goes back and forth. Sitting out and pouting doesn’t do anyone a lick of good.

        This shouldn’t be about whether anyone likes the Tampa T or not, it’s about playing the game with sense of determination. Nobody said anything about how Tampa Bay was killing hockey until the Flyers decided to protest it.

      • icelovinbrotha215 - Nov 10, 2011 at 1:53 PM

        But NJD was chastised for perfecting the neutral zone trap in the late 90’s and early 00’s. That’s why the NHL got ride of 2-line passing to open up center ice. The Flyers did figure it out by waiting in their own zone. If you call that not putting on big boy pants then so be it. But the NHL doesn’t want the trap in the game. BTW, the Bruins did the similar counter attack the Flyers did. Idk who is sitting and protesting but the Flyers didn’t do anything illegal. The Bolts didn’t do anything illegal. All I am saying is that if TB wasn’t in the 1-3-1, the Flyers wouldn’t consider stalling in their own defensive zone.

  5. boltsfan777 - Nov 10, 2011 at 9:49 AM

    I thought the idea was to win. How come nobody is mentioning that the Bolts were without two of their top defensemen Hedman and Ohlund and a top wing Malone, and they were facing the top scoring team in the NHL? They made an adjustment to help their subs and put them in the position to win. It worked perfectly. Why is the defense required to engage the play? In what other sport is there an unwritten rule that requires the defense to commit to making the first move and leave themselves exposed? Not football. Not baseball. Not basketball. A big problem the Bolts have had this year is letting their opponent blast through the neutral zone, before the key injuries, so why put their subs in a bigger disadvantage?

    • spiffy53 - Nov 10, 2011 at 9:53 AM

      you just developed a circular argument. it goes both ways. why should the flyers cross the blueline into a trap? as long as the puck is moving, there really is no penalty either.

      • hystoracle - Nov 10, 2011 at 11:09 AM

        If the flyers don’t want to score then fine by me. His argument wasn’t circular… He is arguing that the offensive team has the responsibility to move the puck try and score. Especially in a 0-0 game that just started. the offensive team starts the play. The onus is NOT on the Defense. There is no rule in hockey that you have to be aggressive defensively.

      • spiffy53 - Nov 10, 2011 at 11:33 AM

        there is no rule in hockey that you need to cross the blueline either. There is NO onus on the Offense other than keeping the puck moving. that’s why the refs were corrected during the game last night.

      • falstaffsmind - Nov 10, 2011 at 11:39 AM

        Actually, when the puck is frozen along the boards or under a player, the refs do blow a whistle and call for a faceoff, so there must be a rule about keeping the puck moving.

      • hystoracle - Nov 10, 2011 at 11:42 AM

        if you want to sit in your own zone all night great.. But eventually they will blow the play dead and have a faceoff.. And eventually the defending team is going to win that faceoff and go on the offensive.. and quite possibly score. Especially when that team has a guy who has scored 100 goals over the past 2 seasons and already has 10 this season. The worst thing you can give a defensive team is the lead.

        The onus IS on the offense to move the puck.. Because they HAVE the puck. The difference between offense and defense in hockey is solely based on who has the puck.

      • spiffy53 - Nov 10, 2011 at 11:54 AM

        hystoracle, you are wrong. as long as the puck is moving, there should be no whistle. the refs were reminded of that last night. you do not have to cross the blueline and again, as long as the puck is moving, there is no whistle.

      • hystoracle - Nov 10, 2011 at 2:40 PM

        spiffy, my point is there WILL be a whistle at some point.. There are only 20 minutes on the clock. at come point they will blow the whistle like they did last night… They are not going to stand there for twenty minutes. At some point, they are going to change lines even if they are playing catch in their own zone.. Even if the time runs out.. If the Flyers stood there for 20 minutes and let the clock run out there would be a lot more heat on them than the Bolts… Move your feet and you might just get through that trap.

    • emoser - Nov 10, 2011 at 10:02 AM

      Not football? I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen a play where the defense doesn’t rush the QB at all.

      Not baseball? I’ve never seen the hitter swing at a ball before it’s pitched.

      Not basketball? OK, basketball is horrible. But they also have a shot clock that kind of acts like a 6th defender.

      • boltsfan777 - Nov 10, 2011 at 10:24 AM

        My point is that defense generally reacts to offense, with the obvious exception of rushing the passer and pitching a baseball. Hockey players are coached to let the forward make the first move, then react to it. Last night just turned out ugly. It wasn’t the Flyers “exposing” anything to make the Bolts look ridiculous. The Flyers tried to bait the Bolts play out of their system, which is fine, but the Bolts weren’t about to bail with the score 0-0, a potentially tight scoring game, and significant injuries. Once the Flyers were up 1-0, their defensive approach was more aggressive. It turned into an ugly chess match for one night given all the circumstances. And the Versus TV crew was ridiculous now saying there needs to be a rule change and Guy Boucher is to blame for a few boring minutes. Typical overreaction to one game. So the game was a little slow for a few minutes. Boucher was to blame for what: not ditching his defensive system and playing to their strength, expecially considering the injuries? The Versus crew, many who are ex-coaches should understand that.
        The obvious hatred for the Bolts is good; to me that means they are doing something right.

    • dusty does ... - Nov 10, 2011 at 10:11 AM

      the problem is in hockey (as opposed to basketball, the only sport in your list in which the game play is similar to hockey) is that there is the offsides rule (thus the trap) and when no defensive player is contesting the puck it becomes near impossible to move the puck between the blue lines because of crowding and a man down type situation (since an a player on the team with possession has to stay back to prevent break aways). Why would any team willingly skate the puck in to a scenario that will most likely see them turn the puck over? Maybe the rule that could be created is if no defensive player is checking the puck for 5 .. 10 seconds offsides is lifted and the attacking team can ice the puck.

      • hystoracle - Nov 10, 2011 at 11:18 AM

        Get the play moving… You may not penetrate it the first try, but you get our team skating and you can draw people out of position. To not try at all is idiotic and unprofessional. You get the flow of play moving and it is hard to set up the 1-3-1 properly. When you sit in your own zone waiting then it is very easy to set it up. If you move the puck to your own blue line you will start getting defenders to move. The Lightning have played this system since last year. They have been scored on during that time. The 1 goal the Bruins got in game 7 of the ECF was against the 1-3-1. You have to force the Bolts defenders to make a mistake. Mistakes leadto goals in hockey.

  6. emoser - Nov 10, 2011 at 10:05 AM

    Arguments aside, I actually found it kind of entertaining watching this last night… if for no other reason than the strangeness of it all. It really only took up a small portion of the game but gave people something to talk about. That said, it could get very old very fast if this keeps happening.

  7. comeonnowguys - Nov 10, 2011 at 10:17 AM

    It’s not exactly the same situation, but I had the same feeling watching a Stars game this year.

    They got a lead early, and sat all five guys in front of the net. They didn’t come out to the point, didn’t really go out the corners, they just turtled.

    It was the first time in years I wondered if there was a baseball game or something more exciting to watch.

    I’m not the biggest fan of the Flyers, but more power to them for this.

  8. sunking1 - Nov 10, 2011 at 10:20 AM

    I can’t understand why the Lightning are getting blamed for this. It seems to me that the Flyers took themselves out of the game last night. They were so worried about the defensive system that the Bolts were playing that they did not play their own system-the system that made them the highest scoring team in the NHL. As far as the Bolts and the effectiveness of their ‘trap’, only 5 teams in the NHL have given up more goals the the Lightning, so SOMEONE has figured out how to play the 1-3-1 with some level of success.

    It was ‘boring’ because the Flyers refused to play offense when they were in control of the puck. The object when you have the puck is to score a goal. The object on defense is to prevent a goal. Who messed up here? It’s all on the Flyers

    • spiffy53 - Nov 10, 2011 at 10:27 AM

      again, you are developing a circular argument. the flyers actually played it perfectly. they had the lead going into the third period and the 1-3-1 was eventually abandoned. if i remember correctly, it was the Lightning fans having a s-fit in the stands. technically, the flyers did figure out the 1-3-1. it was just boring.

      • sunking1 - Nov 10, 2011 at 10:39 AM

        There wasn’t anywhere near a circular argument in my comments. And Spiffy, the Flyers played it so perfectly they took themselves out of their own style of play, got all of 14 shots in the game, and scored 1 goal (after scoring 28 in their previous 5 games).
        Yep, they played it perfectly alright.

      • spiffy53 - Nov 10, 2011 at 10:58 AM

        sunking, the flyers had the lead and the lightning abandoned the 1-3-1 by the 3rd period. and i have news for you, get used to it. there are plenty of teams that are going to do the same thing in the near future.

      • hystoracle - Nov 10, 2011 at 11:24 AM

        And the Lightning got the tying goal… And had 2 or 3 golden opportunities to end the game in regulation. SO, the Lightning’s tactics worked. Defensive play kept them in the game until the third period where they have flourished recently. Flyers played right into Guy’s game plan.. And the Lightning won.. Guy totally outcoached Laviolette. Flyers allowed an outmanned team to hang around by not attempting to play offense.

        And the Bolts fans were booing the Flyers not their team.

        And I there was nothing circular in sunking1’s argument. He made a pretty direct point.

      • grudenthediva - Nov 10, 2011 at 11:51 AM

        The Flyers played it perfectly?

        The top scoring team in hockey, facing a team down their top two defensemen, was so utterly flummoxed by their odd little chess match, severely outcoached, and pretty much limited themselves to 15 shots on goal and one score. And a loss.

        Yeah, perfection.

      • hystoracle - Nov 10, 2011 at 2:44 PM

        Let’s see what Dec 10 brings in Philly.. If I’m Guy I’m going right to the 1-3-1 to start the game to see what Laviolette decides to do. Are the Flyers willing to stand still in their own zone in their own building?

        Are the flyers seriously whining that the other team won’t let them skate through the neutral zone? Do they feel that entitled? that the other team has to step aside or do what they want them to do or they aren’t even going to try and play the game?

    • comeonnowguys - Nov 10, 2011 at 10:38 AM

      It’s like basketball before the shot clock. Sure, you get the win today, but the more teams that do it, and the more frequently they do it, the less entertaining the game becomes as a whole.

      Which couldn’t be more inopportune, given the fact there is no NBA with which to compete.

  9. philsosexy - Nov 10, 2011 at 10:25 AM

    The Flyers did 100% the right thing, Tampa has been playing like a bunch of pu**ies for a while now and everyone is fed up with it. Someone had to do it, good for them

    • sunking1 - Nov 10, 2011 at 10:42 AM

      What a loser comment you made.
      You got out played and out coached. Not bad for a bunch of pu**ies.
      Scoreboard, Jerk

      • comeonnowguys - Nov 10, 2011 at 2:09 PM

        I’m not a Flyers fan. Phil is right.

    • nhlbruins90 - Nov 10, 2011 at 10:58 AM

      Watching the Flyers stand there like zombies with the puck actually made them look more like pu**ies than the Bolts. If you have the puck in your possession, it’s your move. Take it!

      If you don’t like the 1-3-1, find a weakness in it to exploit and execute. Don’t stand there with the puck like a petulant child. That was the most asinine thing I’ve seen in a long time. The league would be wise to nip this one in the bud. Embarrassing!

      • spiffy53 - Nov 10, 2011 at 11:01 AM

        which is funny since the Bruins did the same thing last year but just not to the same extent as the flyers. i am sure you will change your tune when the bruins do the same thing the next time they play the lightning.

      • hystoracle - Nov 10, 2011 at 11:28 AM

        Spiffy– actually the Bruins attacked the 1-3-1. they never sat in their own zone with the puck.. As a bolts fan, I watched all those games.. In fact the 1 goal the Bruins scored in game 7 was against the 1-3-1. They forced someone to make a mistake and got rewarded for it.

        If they had taken the Flyers position then they would never had even had a chance to pummel the Canucks in the Finals.

      • spiffy53 - Nov 10, 2011 at 11:48 AM

        hystoracle, it was not during the playoffs, it was during the regular season. and it was also mentioned by the commentators as well. also, bruce beadreu has also done something similar and has also made the same complaints.

    • grudenthediva - Nov 10, 2011 at 11:52 AM

      I’d be fed up too if those “pu–ies” from the south were waxing your team’s ass too. Seen Stanley, lately?

      No, the Blackhawks on your ice don’t count.

      • spiffy53 - Nov 10, 2011 at 12:07 PM

        i did not realize you played on the Lightning. using “we” or “were” when talking about a sports team is embarrassing. i would expect as much from tampa fans.

  10. boltsfan777 - Nov 10, 2011 at 10:29 AM

    15 shots on goal by the Flyers for the whole game? They shut down the top scoring team in the NHL. Great move Boucher, staying with your defensive strategy.

  11. rainyday56 - Nov 10, 2011 at 10:47 AM

    This is how you beat a 1-3-1:

    • hystoracle - Nov 10, 2011 at 11:31 AM

      That isn’t the 1-3-1 . That’s 4 guys lined up at the blue line killing a penalty.

  12. myopinionisrighterthanyours - Nov 10, 2011 at 11:04 AM

    Funny thing is, I don’t remember the Bruins whining like little babies as they beat the Lightning en route to a Stanley Cup. They found a way to beat it in 4 out of 7 games. I didn’t hear the Capitals whining like little babies earlier this year as they dropped 5 goals on the Lightning. There are ways of beating the trap, and they don’t involve shutting down your own offense. Sorry, Philly, you’re to blame in this mess.

    • grudenthediva - Nov 10, 2011 at 11:55 AM

      They didnt whine because a.) they won and b.) people acting like this is a set system, a la New Jersey, are idiots. This has been used for over a year and it isnt even used all the time.

      If Boston, New York, Philadelphia or Detroit do this, its the “next big thing.” A team that just took out two of the media darlings in the playoffs, almost got the third, and has everyone from Barry Melrose’s enablers to Versus wetting their pants at how talented they are, does this and now everyone wants to cry their eyes out about it.

      Go ahead. Don’t like it, beat it. Otherwise, cram it.

  13. chowder625 - Nov 10, 2011 at 12:32 PM

    It’s pathetic that Versus will allow such bias from their announcers. There are so many hockey fans that are sick and tired of hearing their one-sided opinions. If you’re not Washington, Pittsburgh,Philly, Chicago, Boston or Vancouver, you might as well not even exist. Jeff Vinik, Steve Yzerman and Guy Boucher are responsible for making the Lightning one of the best teams in the NHL and all Versus can do is be critical for a system that’s actually working? To suggest that the league ban this type of play – only man-on-man is acceptable? Really??? And how would the refs dish out those penalities? Breakaways wouldn’t exist because that would be against the “man-on-man” rule!!!?? These announcers are obivously jackasses and should be fired! They insult my intelligence and I am not a new fan to this game!

    I am a season ticket holder and I wasn’t booing my team last night – I was booing the guys in Orange who refused to move the puck up the ice! It must have killed Milbury and the rest of them to see the Lightning win. boo hoo, boo-hoo……

    • boltsfan777 - Nov 10, 2011 at 1:16 PM

      Thank you. Remember, all that hate from the fans and announcers is good. If the Lightning weren’t beating those teams, who would care? It’s amazing anyone would think the fans were booing their own team. The Lightning fans went home happy.

      The bias is not on the people of Tampa Bay. For the record, we do care alot about hockey here in Tampa, and we understand something about the sport, but maybe not like in Canada! The Lightning are 96% in attendance this year. In this area, we have many adult, high school and recreational hockey leagues which are very popular. My son plays in a rec league and I’m taking an adult hockey clinic just because we love the game.

      • boltsfan777 - Nov 10, 2011 at 1:19 PM

        Meant to say “The bias is not lost on the people of Tampa Bay”.

    • comeonnowguys - Nov 10, 2011 at 2:14 PM

      Please. Let me guess, if they threw bouquets at the Lightning for 3 periods, well that’s objective reporting, right?

      Just make it official and call your team the Tampa Bay Sea Turtles.

      • chowder625 - Nov 10, 2011 at 3:13 PM

        make all the rude comments you want. Tampa aren’t “Sea Turtles” when we have guys like Stammer, St Louis, LeCalvier and oh yes – the #1 offensive defenseman Bergeron. I didn’t know turtles could get up the ice fast enough to even score. Let me guess – you support one of those holier than thou teams that the Versus biased announcers like. You’re pathetic too.

      • comeonnowguys - Nov 10, 2011 at 4:32 PM

        Wait, chowder… You’re crying about some network conspiracy, and I’m the one who’s pathetic? That’s pretty funny.

    • tpatroy - Nov 10, 2011 at 3:55 PM

      chowder625 OBVIOUSLY knows what they are talking about! the lightning/flyer broadcast & intermission analysis was a joke! what kind of network would openly be so critical of their own broadcast? they were practical telling viewers the game they were watching was not worth their time and turn the channel! Just shut up and do the game. It was disgusting. LET THE VIEWERS DECIDE! Just because this is not YOUR preferred type of hockey does not make it boring or any less entertaining to a true hockey fan! The game is about stategies, one team vs another. Versus Network your bias and agenda were showing! Let’s hope NBC wises up and gets rid of these idiots!

  14. whatswellydoing - Nov 10, 2011 at 12:35 PM

    Well I guess everything’s already been said for this one. Just gonna throw my hat in the Flyers ring.

  15. wez99 - Nov 10, 2011 at 1:23 PM

    I hate the flyers, but they did the right thing, get rid of this boring trap and play some hockey, mine as well take offsides out the league if your gonna let this trap scheme continue

    • hystoracle - Nov 10, 2011 at 2:51 PM

      If you want them to play hockey then why are you on the flyers side? The flyers are the ones who stood in place refusing to play the game because they didn’t like the defensive system that they were playing against. It isn’t the Lightning’s fault that the Flyers can’t figure out how to beat it.

      • comeonnowguys - Nov 10, 2011 at 2:56 PM

        And it’s the Flyers’ fault the forechecker was afraid to cross the blue line? Come on.

  16. lamplighterjc - Nov 10, 2011 at 1:42 PM

    Just spitballing here, but how about this:

    If the defending team has less than two players in their own zone when the attacking team enters the neutral zone, waive off offsides.

    • comeonnowguys - Nov 10, 2011 at 2:17 PM

      Or just make a player from the defending team cross, or give a reasonable effort to cross, the blue line. Unless there’s a line change.

    • hystoracle - Nov 10, 2011 at 2:53 PM

      Or make the offensive team leave their own zone within a specific period of time.. It is not the defensive team’s responsibility to make the offensive team try and score.. Which is what you are asking them to do.

      • comeonnowguys - Nov 10, 2011 at 3:02 PM

        I love this. “Our dead puck playstyle is better than your dead puck playstyle.”

        You don’t like what the Flyers did? I guarantee if you send that forechecker up to challenge the puck, the Flyers would move the puck. It’s pretty simple actually. Don’t like it? Go get it.

        They’re both cheeseball tactics, and they’re both going to hurt the game in the long run.

  17. jdsj691 - Nov 10, 2011 at 2:15 PM

    Give me a good defensive battle in any sport on any day and that makes for a great game… The stall tactics done by Coach Lavatory, well that was the most wimpish thing to do… I certainly don’t want 9-2 or 9-8 scores like the Flyers had in recent games. That to me is a more boring game then winning 1-0 or 2-1, etc…. The ole cliche that “defense wins games” is true for every sport. Let’s go Bolts… Keep up the good work…. PO’ed Flyers fans is a good thing cause then you know you are doing the right thing…..

    • imryanmac - Nov 10, 2011 at 3:18 PM

      I don’t think flyers fans are Po’d they are just shaking their heads.

      If a boxer stands in the corner waiting, that is his prerogative.
      If the opposition doesn’t come in and hit him, that’s just stupid.

      • comeonnowguys - Nov 10, 2011 at 4:33 PM

        What’s weird is that your comment could easily be applied to both sides.

  18. boltsfan777 - Nov 10, 2011 at 3:33 PM

    Okay, then forget about whether defense or offense should be the aggressor. Name a sport where the player holding the ball (or puck in this case) isn’t required to initiate play for something to happen. Is hockey now the exception?

  19. micklethepickle - Nov 10, 2011 at 4:27 PM

    As a Caps fan, I have no love for TB, but all of those who are posting in their favor are EXACTLY RIGHT! It sucked when they bounced DC from the playoffs, and I’m hoping for revenge this year, but that doesn’t mean I want my team to go cry like little girls to the NHL and demand rules to break their defensive scheme; it means that I want my Caps to break their G-D defensive scheme with GOOD HOCKEY!

    The Flyers are pathetic. It is the same mentality of the kid who gets upset at losing, and takes his ball and goes home. Oooohh, so sorry that the Lightning weren’t making it easy for you to score. Maybe Flyers fans (and the Comcast announcers) can lobby the NHL to change the rules so that any team playing PHI has to pull their goalie for 5 minutes every period. That would make for more ‘exciting’ hockey.

    I won’t comment on the specifics of the scheme/rules, because others like @hystoracle, @boltsfan777, and @sunking1 (along with a few others) have already made the argument for me. This is the very definition of “sour grapes” – if the Flyers want to win games, don’t just quit playing and try to ‘make a statement.’ The only statement that was made is how pathetic and immature Laviollette is. And that is a bummer, because I have always thought he was a classy guy (since I first paid attention to him during PHI’s Cup run a few years back). This was a disgrace, but DEFINITELY not because of the Lightning….

  20. muttbolts - Nov 10, 2011 at 6:16 PM

    I have no problem with a team to scared to attack. Cant win if you dont attack,if every game is that easy we should win tem all. Phillys Scared,you dont see a running back stop because theres a d line in front of them.sissys

  21. eagles512 - Nov 10, 2011 at 6:59 PM

    How do you blame the Flyers here? I guarantee 90% of the NHL teams loved what they did.

    • falstaffsmind - Nov 10, 2011 at 8:18 PM

      How do you blame the Lightning for failing to aggressively forecheck a puck carrier deep in his defensive zone?

  22. muttbolts - Nov 10, 2011 at 9:53 PM

    Phillys gameplan. If they play D quit.

  23. boltsfan777 - Nov 11, 2011 at 10:11 AM

    Tom Jones of the St. Pete Times had a good take this morning : “Imagine this: A slugger steps up to the plate in a baseball game. The defense goes into an exaggerated shift in an attempt to prevent a hit. So the batter steps out and refuses to hit until the defense goes back to its normal spotes. Ridiculous, right?”

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