Some people call it the trap.
Others the 1-3-1.
The Ottawa Senators call it the “Kanata Wall,” after the suburb they call home.
Whatever it’s called, it’s working. The Sens are up, 2-0, in their second-round series with the New York Rangers, two wins away from a spot in the Eastern Conference Final.
In the first round, Ottawa suffocated the Boston Bruins, taking three games in overtime, and all four by a single goal. In six games, not once did the B’s score more than three goals.
Saturday’s Game 2 against the Rangers featured a rare breach of coach Guy Boucher’s trademark system. The Sens won it in overtime, but only after surrendering five goals in regulation.
Tonight in New York, they’ll try to get back to clogging up the middle of the ice and frustrating their opponent. It may not be pretty to watch, and perhaps the Sens’ style is a factor in their attendance woes.
But for the players, it sure beats losing.
“If we’re playing well, we’re going to have three guys back all the time and a fourth guy coming,” said Clarke MacArthur, per Sportsnet. “It’s tough to create anything off the rush. That’s what’s worked all year.”