A defensive tactic in which the defending team clogs up the rink's neutral zone, making it difficult for the puck-carrying team to skate through the neutral zone and penetrate the attacking zone.
The trap is often called the neutral zone trap because this is the section of the ice it occurs on. It takes place when the opposition has the puck in their own end and are attempting to carry it through the neutral zone and then into the attacking zone. The defending team will load up the neutral zone with its players while usually sending in one forechecker to prevent the puck-carrying team from forming an attacking play. The trap is often employed by a team that's trying to protect a lead or a club that is less skilled than their opponent or not as fast. The object of the trap is to force the puck carrier to the boards by cutting off their passing options. This often leads to a turnover, effectively negating the attack. Several teams have been very successful using this defensive tactic, especially in the Stanley cup playoffs.