BY KEVIN HARRIMAN
Boston Sports Desk Publisher
BOSTON – I’m not sure anyone has told National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman that his sport has a chance to make in-roads into sports fans homes this Fall and possibly Winer with the NBA Lock-Out at hand.
If Bettman or anyone else at the NHL Office has a clue, they will look into the Philadelphia @ Tampa Bay game last night and make immediate corrections to the use of the 1-3-1 Trap employed by TB last night.
The Lightening were playing with limited defenseman last night and resorted to playing the trap in hopes of making up for their lack of depth along the blue line.
The result was horrendous ! You could hear flat screens being turned off all over the country. Philadelphia didn’t help matters either. The Flyers elected to hold the puck back and not attack the trap each time TB set up defensively.
With a chance to show-case your sport at a time when many sports fans are looking for alternatives to the NBA, causal viewers turning into an NHL game will not last five minutes before they move on to something else.
Boston Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien offered his thoughts on the matter before tonight’s game with Edmonton.
“Well, obviously I don’t think anybody liked what happened last night. We’re all in the same boat. But again, instead of blaming, I think we got to find solutions and the blame shouldn’t be on one area, whether it’s coaches, whether it’s this or that, I think there’s a lot of reasons why those things happen and I think we all have to look at it as a whole.
” It certainly wasn’t fun to watch but do you blame the team that had the puck or do you blame the team that was defending ? ” said Julien.
Julien’s suggestion that solutions need to be found is a good one. The problem is that Bettman is the only one who can make this problem go away. Hockey is a special sport with end - to - end action and a great deal of hitting. No offense to NHL players, but the sport is not really what I’d call a thinking man’s game. It involves a lot of stamina, quickness and toughness.
No one wants to see a chess match on ice with players standing still. No one !
Julien went on to point out that teams and especially coaches are judged by wins and loses. He went on to ask, who do you blame ? Well, I’m blaming the NHL Office. It’s time to eliminate the trap and not allow teams to use it in any form. Force coaches to look for other alternative.
The sport as a whole is greater than any one team’s need to use the trap because they are short-handed.