March 19, 2011
Earlier in the season, Quebec Remparts head coach Patrick Roy created a stir by complaining about a disproportionate amount of dull defensive hockey in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Thursday, Rimouski Océanic head coach Clément Jodoin (pictured) took bemoaning that scourge of creative hockey, the neutral-zone trap, to another level.
Off a centre-ice faceoff against the Montreal Juniors, captain Félix Lefrançois knocked the puck back toward his own zone. It quickly became apparent that if Montreal coach-GM Pascal Vincent's tactics were not attacking on the forecheck, the Océanic were not going to attack offensively, either.
Defencemen Étienne Boutet and Jérôme Gauthier-Leduc and left wing Patrick Delisle-Houde leisurely passed the puck back and forth 16 times as an apparent protest. Finally, the point having been made, apparently, Delisle-Houde tried to send a pass up the boards. The well-drilled Juniors, predictably, intercepted it.
Was that orchestrated? No one's ever heard of a breakout play that called for 16 passes. It looked like something out of a bad soccer game. The French-language sports network RDS has had some fun with it. All this needed was Kent Brockman mumbling, "Holds it ... holds it" with the announcer next to him losing his mind.
The more powerful Juniors won the game 4-2, but Jodoin's tweak was winning. Major junior hockey is part of the entertainment business, after all.
(Stick tap: Paul Stedman).
Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet.