Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 09/11/05 at 08:51 AM ET
Fans may believe that the NHL's elimination of the red line, making passes across two of the three center-ice lines legal, will instantly produce the sort of wide-open, high-speed attacking game the Edmonton Oilers played in the 1980s - with the great talents of the game suddenly free to fly up the ice unfettered by the trapping defenses that have so adversely changed the game the last 10-15 years. Sorry, folks, but it ain't necessarily so. For as long as the red line removal has been discussed as a possible antidote to what ails the NHL, analysts have concluded it really won't change much. The trap, which is said to have been devised by Swedish coaches in an effort to contain richly talented Soviet teams, can be sprung within the offensive zone or, more commonly, in the neutral zone, once a puck-carrier has crossed his own blue line.
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