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Martin Brodeur's Curious Suggestion

The Devils goalie wants to see less shot blocking by the Rangers

By Josh Alper
|  Wednesday, May 16, 2012  |  Updated 4:22 PM EDT
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Martin Brodeur's Curious Suggestion

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The Rangers have been blocking shots for quite a while now.

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Everyone that has watched the Rangers this season has probably found themselves asking the same question at some point. 

How much does it hurt to throw yourself in front of a shot like that?

The Garden's best shot blocker might be Tyson Chandler, but the next 10 are all members of the Rangers. All year they have committed themselves to risking life and limb to stop shots from getting through to Henrik Lundqvist.

They blocked 26 shots in the 3-0 Game One win, five more than the Devils got on net. It isn't surprising, then, to learn that the Devils are desperate to figure out a way to get their shots through for the rest of the series.

Goalie Martin Brodeur shared some thoughts on the topic that the Post thought were spicy enough to put on the back cover of Wednesday's edition.

"They’re hot at blocking shots," Brodeur said. "We might be able to hurt a few guys [by] hitting one-timers in the foot and their head or something."

While the Post is playing this up as a possible new Devils strategy, it actually sounds like Brodeur is just exasperated after watching shot after shot die thanks to a Ranger player throwing their body in front of it. Other Devils sound just as exasperated while also playing down the notion that they are going to start aiming for anyone's head.

It isn't a particularly good strategy anyway. Every player on the Rangers knows the risks involved with blocking a shot and the chances aren't good that they will stop blocking shots if one of their teammates winds up with a broken nose.

So the Devils would be left with a choice of trying to intentionally miss shots into Dan Girardi's face or just being professional and finding a way to score against a good defense. If their goal really is to hurt Girardi, Ryan McDonagh or Marc Staal, there are far easier ways to do it.

Mostly, it's just funny to hear Brodeur complaining about a defensive system that smothers offenses and kills creative hockey. His name appears on the Stanley Cup three times because of just such a system, one that didn't seem to bother him at all when he was playing behind it instead of trying to beat it.

If the Devils are thinking that much about getting shots blocked, they've done half the Rangers' work for them. The Senators and Caps already showed that scoring goals isn't impossible in these games, now it is the Devils' turn to put in the work.

Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City. You can follow him on Twitter and he is also a contributor to Pro Football Talk.

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