Touchy, touchy: Boucher says 1-3-1 aggressive enough

Ottawa Senators coach Guy Boucher was blunt with the media Tuesday, telling the Ottawa Citizen that his club, which went over 19 minutes without a shot in Game 2 Monday night, possesses an aggressive forecheck indeed.

Boucher employs a 1-3-1 style, neutral zone coverage which calls for one forward to penetrate the offensive zone while two other forwards and one defenseman clog the neutral zone (with the other defenseman watching the defensive zone). Many have likened it to the “boring” yet effective neutral zone trap employed through the Dead Puck Era by the New Jersey Devils en route to winning three Stanley Cups from 1995-2003.

“When we forecheck,” said Boucher, “We’ve got our defensemen pinching.  We’re one of the most aggressive teams in the league on the (offensive) zone forecheck.”

Boucher argues that while some suggest that this is a part of the team’s forechecking scheme, it’s actually only employed while the opponent is regrouping in their own defensive zone.

“Our neutral zone is the same as Nashville’s, the same as Toronto’s,” offered Boucher.

With the series now knotted at 1-1, Senators center Kyle Turris (14GP: 3-3-6) admitted that his club needs more offense.

“Especially in the third (period),” said Turris, “We were sitting back more defensively than I think we needed to. We still have a very defensive structure, but within that, we still have to find ways to put offensive pressure up.”

Each team has scored two goals. The Senators won Game 1 by a 2-1 score; The Penguins took Game 2 in a 1-0, low-scoring affair.

The Senators will have an opportunity to do so tonight at home in Game 3, helped by the fact that the Penguins will be without injured defenseman Justin Schultz, who joins Kris Letang and Trevor Daley on the injured list.




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