Last night, Greg Wyshynski (Puck Daddy) Tweeted the following:
Hmm. Seems standing around doesn’t make for good television. Which doesn't make for good ratings. Which doesn’t make lots of money. Which doesn’t make Gary Bettman a happy man.
That text presumably came from someone at Comcast owned Versus also owns the Flyers soon to be NBC Sports Network watch Rock Center Mondays at 10! mega conglomerate. Basically, they don’t like the Lightning’s 1-3-1 trapping style, and the Flyers showed what could happen when teams counter with extreme measures.
Think of it like a sports video game: Almost every game, even nowadays, has some glitch, some money play that when ran correctly, yields a consistent result. Most of the time, whether it be online or against friends, you’ll steer clear of exploiting that glitch because it makes for shoddy, unrealistic gameplay. But, there will always be that ultra-competitive asshole (looks in mirror– me) who will use this to his advantage. That was the Flyers on Wednesday night. I’m fairly certain that had the ref not blown the whistle, Braydon Coburn would have sat in his own zone and daydreamed about Nadine until the conclusion of the first period.
The Flyers exploited the glitch which allows the Lightning to play their boring style of hockey.
TV execs don’t want a league where teams can sit back in a trap and slow the pace of the game down to a snail's, well, pace. This is what happened to hockey a decade ago, and now that the sport has finally rebounded from its lockout, allowing the sort of passive forecheck played by the lightning (or the type of counter applied by the Flyers) makes for disastrous TV. Sure, we liked it because it was funny. But that would get old after a while, especially if you’re not a fan of either team.
You can bet this will all be discussed at the upcoming GM meetings.
Oh, hey, speaking of the Flyers, they’re on their annual male-bonding, tree of trust team building excursion. And Craig Berube caught a really big fish:
[Related: NHL.com article with many hockey folks weighing in on trap, former referee Kerry Fraser explains why a delay of game penalty could be called]
Photo via the Flyers.