Bizarro moment in an NHL game last night: The Philadelphia Flyers refused to budge with the puck, and Tampa refused to go after them. It actually happened multiple times, with the Flyers trying to send a message about Tampa’s reviled “trap” system. The trap is a defensive scheme apparently designed to bore the opponent (and spectators) to death: Instead of forechecking, Tampa players keep back, then clog the center of the rink when the other team begins skating up ice. It’s effective, but it makes for a dull game mostly devoid of free skating.
With control of the puck in their own zone, the Flyers decided to wait for Tampa to come get them, sometimes for as long as 45 seconds. Tampa players never did. Finally the refs would blow the whistle and penalize Philly with a faceoff in its zone, reports the Inquirer. "That's not hockey in my book," said Philadelphia’s Chris Pronger. "But whatever, the league's letting them do it. Would you pay money to watch that? I wouldn't either." Tampa, by the way, won the game 2-1 in overtime, notes NHL.com. "We have our system, they have their system, and that's the way it is," said Tampa’s Dominic Moore. “You can’t get frustrated by it." (Read more Philadelphia Flyers stories.)