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The Trap Isn't Entertaining? I Disagree | November | 2010 Articles

The Trap Isn't Entertaining? I Disagree

Written by Kelly Thomas Reardon on .


Today on Puck Daddy, Wyshynski addressed the minor spat between Patrick Roy & Guy Boucher where Roy directly blames Boucher for the alleged changes in the ‘Q' causing teams to adopt Boucher's trap-like, defensive-minded system because of the success it brought to Boucher's team.

Roy's argument was that, in his mind, hockey should be focused on offense, more open and more ‘free-wheeling.'  As Wyshynski (and Boucher via his quotes) so quickly point out is that Boucher's teams were always either at or near the top of the league in scoring.  Wyshynski also pulls in the Stanley Cup winning Devils teams of the 00's.  Wyshynski eventually takes Roy's undertones that the trap and similar systems aren't entertaining enough for paying customers.  From the horse's mouth:

"The problem, then, isn't the red light flashing but overall entertainment. Watching turnovers in the neutral zone on every shift isn't exactly a night at the Improv."

Truthfully, good teams make the trap entertaining.   While the '95 Cup-winning Devils weren't exactly a trap team, they were certainly defense-first and they are the team that got me into hockey when I was a wee lad.  How could the trap possibly be entertaining?  The trap causes mistakes.  Mistakes lead to things like big open ice hits (*COUGH* Scott Stevens ending Eric Lindros' career anyone? *COUGH*) and turnovers that lead to odd-man rushes.  Big hits lead to fights, more big hits, power plays, etc.  Odd-man rushes lead to goals, big saves, quick transition games, etc.

However, yes, when a team like, say, the Nashville Predators plays the trap, it isn't entertaining.  At all.  Not to take anything away from the Preds, I respect that club a whole lot.  They were the team that came the closest to beating the Blackhawks last season on their run to the Cup after all.  But they don't have any entertaining players.  They don't have a superstar that can entertain off those turnovers.  And no, Patric Hornqvist doesn't count.

Even though the Preds are boring to watch, they add on the underdog entertainment.  How does Barry "My Cousin is Jabba the Hutt" Trotz continually get production out of a squad full of nearly-worthless forwards and competent defensemen?  The system, the trap.

My last point is more to a specific type of fan.  I know I'm not alone in enjoying watching a defensive struggle.  I like seeing the players dealing with frustration and how they can work through it.  I like watching goalies keep the score close.  The trap depends on these types of things.  I know these games aren't for everyone and they certainly won't bring in the casual fan.

Would I rather watch a 2009-2010 Chicago Blackhawks style club playing?  Fuck yes.  But please, don't discount what the trap can bring entertainment wise.