Nuggets: Blues vs Tampa Bay Lightning(updated)
Did you you know the style of play the Tampa Bay Lighting play?
They play a 1-3-1 formation, something they were praised for in last years playoffs. On Wednesday night the highest powered offense, Philadelphia Flyers, went into Tampa Bay and they had a little protest to open the game.
What you just saw ISN”T AGAINST THE RULES! If you’re familiar with FOX’S NFL coverage, they have and old referee who comes on and talks about the plays that are being reviewed. TSN does the same with Kerry Fraiser, retired NHL referee. This is what he said about it.C\’mon Ref It’s a bit long, but he goes on to break down several rules which could have ended up as penalties for both teams. The league actually CALLED THE REFEREES TO TELL THEM NOT TO INTERFERE WITH COACHING STYLES! How can the league call the officials DURING the game and give them instructions!? It’s because the 1-3-1 is a semi-trap, and a trap is illegal. Does anyone remember that little lockout thing that cancelled the 2004-2005 season? One of the reasons for that was to break down the the trap style that was clogging up the flow of play.
I bring this up because in tonight’s game expect to see this stifle ANY plays through the neutral zone. So expect a slow grinding game that will frusterate you to no end. The NHL is having their annual mid-season general manager’s meetings in a week, and the 1-3-1 will be one of the hottest topics discussed.
- look for Halak to play in his third straight game. He’s been solid his last 3 outings. While he’s been shaky at times, he’s been nails when the team needed him to be.
- Eric Brewer returns tonight for his first visit back since he was traded in January. I’d like to hope that the fans don’t boo him like they used to. I personally never had a problem with his play. Fans were sold a bag of goods for the Chris Pronger trade that wasn’t fair to the player. Eric Brewer wasn’t a top pair defenseman, he’s more of a second pair. Fair weather fans bought into what Bill Laurie sold and Brewer never was going to be able to deliver. (I blame the idiot owner who threw a fit because he couldn’t get an NBA team and cried and pouted and stripped the team for sale. Larry Pleau gets a free pass on this because the ENTIRE league knew Pleau had to unload Pronger and Brewer was the best he could get.
- New guy Kris Russel will play tonight. He was given 4 for a jersey number. Eric Brewer’s old one.
- Hitch says he has a game plan to counter the 1-3-1 that Tampa will run. I’m not sure exactly what he’s going to do, but my guess would be a fast transition game to keep Tampa from having time to set up. Tamps WANT’S you to dump and chase and from what we’ve seen in the last two games, Hitch clearly likes puck possession and deflected shots on net. The Blues have the speed to break down the system but only if the transition game is working perfectly.
* Elliot is in net, Ian cole will sit out tonight and Sobotka and Steen flip lines.
Puck drops at 7 tonight. Come chat with Chris tonight. Can’t WAIT to see what he comes up with for this game. (let’s hope he doesn’t fall asleep)