The Best Answer (For now)
Greg Whyshynski thinks the NHL may have to take action in the wake of the fiasco between Philadelphia and Tampa last night. The Lightning trapped and the Flyers delayed their contest into a nonhockey game. Clearly Greg is right if other coaches decide to follow the lead of Peter Laviolette. The Flyer response to the trap cannot become an acceptable strategy.
Is it going to continue?
Perhaps Laviolette was merely registering a protest, making a point about the way the Lightning choose to play. If that is the case, we can safely ignore the incident as an aberration, unlikely to be repeated. Unfortunately, I can’t see any NHL coach embarassing the league to make the point about the way another team plays. Particularly when he has coached against many other teams that adopt the same or a similar style. Why now?
I think Laviolette believes he has found a winning strategy when the Flyers are on the road and playing a team that traps even when the game is tied. The Lightning trap from the opening whistle? Running out the clock puts the game into a shootout, providing a good result in a road game. Why should the road team risk that good result trying to beat a trap?
If that is the thinking, Whyshynski is correct and the league will have to take action. Either the Flyers will have to be forced to attack the trap, or the trap itself will have to be banned. Neither is an appealing option.
The best thing is for Brendan Shanahan to call Peter Laviolette and talk to him on the QT, “Don’t make us do something, okay? Your point is made. Give it up.”
We can hope.