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Encyclopedia > Neutral zone trap

The neutral zone trap is a defensive ice hockey strategy used by a team to prevent an opposing team from proceeding through the neutral zone (the area between both blue lines) by forcing turnovers in that area. The strategy is generally used to level the playing field for teams that are not as offensively talented as their opponent, though the trap is can also be used by teams simply looking to protect a lead late in the game. Ice hockey, known simply as hockey in areas where it is more common than field hockey, is a team sport played on ice. ... A hockey rink is an ice rink specifically designed for the game of ice hockey. ...


The most recognizable implementation of the trap sees the defense stations four of their players in the neutral zone and one forechecker in the offensive zone. As the offensive team starts to move up the ice, the forechecker (generally the center) will cut off passing lanes to other offensive players by staying in the middle of the ice, forcing the puck carrier to either sideboard. The defensive wingers—typically placed on or near the red line—will be positioned by the boards to challenge the puck carrier, prevent passing, or even keep opponents from moving through. The two defensemen who are positioned on or near the blue lines are the last defense should the play move past the wingers and the center. Ice hockey, known simply as hockey in areas where it is more common than field hockey, is a team sport played on ice. ... Centre in hockey is a forward position of a player whose primary zone of play on the ice is down the centre of the area. ... Winger in hockey is a forward position of a player whose primary zone of play on the ice is along the outer playing area. ... A hockey rink is an ice rink specifically designed for the game of ice hockey. ... Defenceman (defenseman in American English) is a hockey player position on the ice whose responsibility is primarily defence. ...


The trap was made infamous by the New Jersey Devils' 1995 Stanley Cup victory, and has been widely criticized for reducing scoring and making the game less exciting for fans. It has, however, proven to be very effective, especially in the playoffs. A number of proposals to ban the trap have been made over the years, but none have been taken seriously. During the 2004-05 NHL lockout, serious discussion about opening the game to offense was done by both the NHL and NHL Players Association (NHLPA). Because trappers can employ obstruction to improve efficiency, by slowing the progress of faster players, the League ordered officials to call every obstruction penalty, regardless of circumstance. The higher call volume has been credited with increased scoring and excitement in the National Hockey League this year, though this can also be credited to the increased number of power plays; indeed, some traditional trapping teams still employ the trap as a regular strategy with varying degrees of success, demonstrating that the trap is not simply reliant on obstruction tactics. The New Jersey Devils are a National Hockey League team based in the Continental Airlines Arena of the Meadowlands Sports Complex in East Rutherford, New Jersey. ... The 1994-95 NHL season was the 78th regular season of the National Hockey League. ... Stanley Cup on display at the Hockey Hall of Fame The Stanley Cup which was originally called the Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup, is awarded each year by the National Hockey League to the champion of its playoff tournament. ... The 2004-05 NHL lockout resulted in the cancellation of what would have been the 88th season of the National Hockey League (NHL). ... The National Hockey League Players Association or NHLPA is a labour union that represents the interests of the hockey players in the National Hockey League. ... In mathematics, obstruction theory is a name for more than one mathematical theory. ... Power play is a sporting term used in various games. ...


  Results from FactBites:
 
Left Wing Lock (1027 words)
Just as the New Jersey Devils popularized the defensive system known as the neutral zone trap in winning the 1995 Stanley Cup in a stunning four-game upset of the heavily favored Detroit Red Wings, the Red Wings in June used a similar "secret weapon" when they swept the Philadelphia Flyers in the 1997 Cup finals.
Compared to the left-wing lock, the neutral zone trap is a more conservative system where four or all five of the defenders are positioned in the neutral zone when the opposition is breaking out.
The trap is utilized more by teams that don't possess the offensive weapons that Detroit has, such as the Devils in 1995, or some of the recent expansion teams.
Neutral zone trap - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (365 words)
The neutral zone trap is a defensive ice hockey strategy used by a team to deter an opposing team from proceeding through the neutral zone (the area between both blue lines).
To employ the trap, the defense places four of their players in the neutral zone and one forechecking in the offensive zone.
The trap has been widely criticized for lowering scoring and making the game less exciting for fans, but it has proven to be very successful, especially in the playoffs.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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