Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 08/20/05 at 08:54 AM ET
In hockey, success is quickly emulated. It did not go unnoticed that the Tampa Bay Lightning won the Stanley Cup using a system that enabled them to effectively counter the neutral-zone trap. Even before the season ended, some other National Hockey League teams were starting to adjust, and by the time Team Canada goes to Turin for the 2006 Olympics, it will be using the same method. "It's kind of a game based on risk and trust," explained Philadelphia Flyers coach Ken Hitchcock, who is also an assistant coach of Team Canada. "Tampa, to me, changed the game a lot. They were the first team in my opinion, to attack the trap with depth rather than width. "That puts a lot of pressure on other teams to either change their forechecking patterns or get hurt badly. And a lot of teams did get hurt badly because they weren't able to adapt later in the year."
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