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NHL One Big Trap!
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NHL One Big Trap!

I had to laugh when I recently heard the NHL Phoenix Coyotes’ bench boss Dave Tippett summarize his team’s play in their recent and somewhat shocking ousting of the favoured Nashville Predators.

Tippett essentially stated that they played good defence by ‘collapsing five guys’ down in front of the net. Think about this for a minute. All the hockey pundits who analyze, criticize, scrutinize, and have their eyes on the NHL all year round, Never in their wildest dreams could have predicted the lousy teams that are now about to form hockey’s final four!

And the reason this year’s - and I fear future year’s - Stanley Cup conference finals are rife with no-name plumbers instead of premiere talent is that the hated trap is now the touted ‘Collapse’.

Gary Bettman’s fantasy of making hockey money any way he can has become reality. He rammed American backwater cities down hockey fan’s throats for so long at the expense of the league and fans subsidizing long-suffering locales like Florida, Nashville, and Phoenix.

But Bettman’s money tree is now bearing fruit despite no Vancouver, no Detroit, no Pittsburgh, no Boston, no Chicago. Imagine pundits predicting an LA Phoenix and New Jersey Washington final four. I’m getting naucious just thinking about the possibility!

What do these remaining teams have in common, nothing. Let me rephrase that, they all have no Team talent! Team hockey talent is derived from the smooth effortless application of speed, stick handling, intelligence and hockey IQ.

None of the remaining teams have team hockey talent! It is not collapsing five players down low in front of your goalie to block shots and tire out your much more skilled opposition in hopes of a defensive zone turnover to turn the other way into an odd man rush!

The NHL is a sham as it continues to allow teams to play ‘systems’ that trap and clog simply because Bettman’s master plan of expansion has diluted the talent pool to the point where plumbers will get their name on the Cup.

It is also a mirage to say that goalies have been the story of the series. I would love to see the most respected of hockey broadcasters trash the farce that is the new trap, the collapse, by venting on air on the absolute lack of skill and creativity that these final teams obviously lack.

The political correctness in the NHL is astounding. Goalies have been good but when broadcasters refuse to give critical analysis to the boring and insomnia-inducing play that now pervades the Stanley Cup playoffs, I turn the channel away from what used to be my favourite sport to watch on tv.

This travesty will result in waning interest amongst long-standing fans but Bettman doesn’t care. He makes his millions while the rest of us sit back and take it.

Fire Bettman, Hockey's Biggest Rat!


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