Friday, August 15, 2008

The Trap and the Trapezoid

Tom Lynn's rant about the trap, referenced below, has an interesting note in it. It has little to do with the trap, but instead talks of defensive zone play.
The larger ice surface scares coaches from letting their charges wander far; the players are instructed to bunch up in front of the same 60x45x20x45 trapezoid in front of the net that goals in any hockey game are scored from
Does that seem huge to anyone else? I've marked up a rink drawing below to reflect that. Jebus, that's a lot of ice to cover. And there are a whack of guys in the NHL who can score from outside the dots at the side down low.
We've looked at where shots go in from before, granted just with the very dodgy data from And this little picture is starting to look like a high school gym floor at this point, with all the lines on it, but here we go, with the trapezoid added.

I may be chasing a red herring here. I mean defensive zone coverage has nothing to do with the neutral zone trap, and similar boring defensive schemes, that Lynn is defending here. So perhaps he brought up the trapezoid hoping that some of his readers would infer (wrongly) that this is where trapping hockey comes from. I dunno.


Blogger Bank Shot said...

The trapezoid should be turned around so the wider end is at the goal line.

While the side of the net isn't a high percentage area, it's only two strides from there to the prime real estate of scoring chance areas.

Lynn is saying give the other team the blueline shots from the perimeter.

8/15/2008 12:49 pm  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...

You think? I don't.

I mean the red line that's on there, the triangle, that's what we all grew up with, no?

I know that there a lot of different ways to skin this cat, but don't you think that would be a hell of a departure?

I always think of the Wild as a team that likes to play the forwards low when they are in their own zone, looks like a PK with an extra guy out there at times (though they really have been letting the weak side winger react a lot, at least last year, maybe before). And they usually let you grind it along the wall if you want to.

I'm having trouble meshing any of that with this trapezoid, reversed or not.

8/15/2008 1:30 pm  
Blogger Bank Shot said...

8/15/2008 2:32 pm  
Blogger Bank Shot said...

The guy with the puck in position 2 is more dangerous with the guy in position 1.

A trapezoid covers the guy in position 2 and really all of the high percentage scoring areas are within the trapezoid.

This shape keeps the attacker in the corners down low in the zone, and to the perimeter out by the blueline where the opponent can noodle around and not be much of a threat.

Any shots coming in from outside the trapezoid are blocked, and it's really difficult to get a shot off inside the shape with five defenders crowding it up.

I don't see a problem with what Lynn is saying.

8/15/2008 2:39 pm  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...

I'm convinced. Good stuff bank shot. As you say, it does cover where the goals at the NHL level are going in from, so makes sense.

Christ, it really has come full circle. Bob Johnson was the first guy I remember preaching covering the low corners of the slot, at the amateur level it was just always dot to post.

8/15/2008 2:48 pm  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...

That should be 'half-circle' above. And Mario scoring a whack of goals from the low sides probably changed that.

And even if this really is the gospel that Lemaire preaches for own zone defense, I don't think the's drawing lines on the ice for practice or anything. More likely just an increased focus on the low sides, the stuff outside the dots, but not a mile out. This balanced with less concern over point shots from the high sides.

By 'increased, I mean increased over the old days of the blocking out the low slot, the box, triangle, house or whatever.

Makes sense, no?

8/17/2008 2:50 pm  
Blogger Bank Shot said...

Yea, and I think possibly the fact that trapezoid is extended out as far as it is, is likely as much to do about eliminating options besides the shot as much as the shot itself.

A guy coming out of the corner has alot of options. They can force a pass out front, and not be overly concerned about a turnover. Also the shooter can face the passer and the net at the same time which is a big advantage over having the puck out by the point.

8/22/2008 11:51 am  

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