Ben Bishop proves why the trapezoid is dumb

Ben Bishop has a shot at the Vezina Trophy this season, but he did himself no favors last night with two puckhandling gaffes. Maybe the trapezoid wasn’t such a good idea after all…

Tampa Bay’s Ben Bishop is having himself a career season. Some say a Vezina-worthy season, though Boston’s Tuukka Rask may stand in his way. Nonetheless, the lanky American did himself in last night against the Flames with not one, but two giveaways that led directly to Calgary goals.

That’s ugly, Ben. And while the Bolts are in a secure enough playoff position that the eventual 4-1 loss to Calgary isn’t a big deal, Bishop’s miscues once again point out why the trapezoid is dumb.

Brought in after the 2004-05 lockout as a way to increase scoring, the trapezoid was put in place to limit the effectiveness of goalies such as Martin Brodeur and Marty Turco, who excelled at puckhandling and often killed dump-ins by ringing the puck right back out of the zone to the open man. If they couldn’t go into the corners (outside the trapezoid) to the play the puck, that skilled advantage was taken away.

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But the rule seemed to forget about all the netminders who handle the puck like a live grenade; in many cases the trapezoid saved them from themselves. Now, the trapezoid wasn’t the only tweak made to increase scoring since the Dead Puck Era of the late 1990s and early 2000s, but it is interesting to note that goals per game right now are at 2.75 per team, or 5.50 per game – the exact same rate as in 1999-2000.

Maybe if goalies like Bishop were allowed to wander a little more, that number would go up.