You could sense Martin Brodeur was frustrated after the Rangers blocked 26 shots in Monday’s 3-0 Game 1 victory.
When a reporter asked Brodeur what he thought of Henrik Lundqvist’s performance, he replied “I saw him [only] about 10 minutes of the game because there were so many Ranger players in front of him.”
Today Brodeur was back talking blocked shots, though his analysis was a little more analytical.
“Whatever brings success is what you need to do,” he said of New York’s ability to block shots. “I know it’s probably not the most exciting brand of hockey. But it’s really effective.
“And, again, they got it in people’s heads by doing what they’re doing, and they’re tough to play against because of that.”
Brodeur’s got a point. Remember the Mike Green-Roman Hamrlik hot potato routine during Game 7 of the Rangers-Caps series?
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You can call it patience on the part of Washington, sure, but there’s also the part where New York directly alters the course of action. Green is a shooter — he once scored 31 goals in a season and had three seasons of 200-plus shots — but was hesitant to pull the trigger against the Rangers.
And if you’re wondering why the Rangers’ shot blocking is in opponent’s heads, consider this — it’s in their own heads.
“That’s the identity of our team. And everyone’s buying into it. And it’s kind of our defensive philosophy,” Dan Girardi explained. “When we’re in our own end, we want to keep everything tight, and once we get to the point we like to get in shot lanes and try to prevent shots that way. And when there’s a breakdown, guys are diving in front of shots and I think it’s our game now.
“Everyone’s just doing it and no one’s really thinking about it. It’s kind of our first reaction.”
The Pittsburgh Penguins ended a long run of playoff overtime struggles on Wednesday … and are now one win away from ending the Washington Capitals’ season.
Many expected the Penguins to crater on defense without Kris Letang (they were 2-8-1 in the regular season without him). While there were shaky moments, Pittsburgh emphasized its speed and other strengths in taking a 3-2 overtime thriller against Washington.
With that, the Penguins’ series lead grows to 3-1.
It was a thrilling, sometimes nasty contest, from Sidney Crosby shaking off an Alex Ovechkin slash, to Evgeni Malkin delivering a hit some thought was over the line and plenty of typical playoff skirmishes.
Ultimately, Matt Murray played another strong game and Patric Hornqvist scored the overtime-winner to put the Capitals in a tough spot.
The Penguins lost their previous eight playoff overtime games, so maybe it was just a matter of time before such a game went their way?
Then again, the history between the two teams is a little different:
If the Capitals want to advance beyond the second round for the first time in the Ovechkin era, they’ll need to accomplish quite the feat against arguably the hottest team in the NHL.
Sidney Crosby is known to get fiery, but even for his feisty standards, he was furious during the third period of Game 4.
An Alex Ovechkin slash caught Crosby on the hand, leaving the Pittsburgh Penguins star shaking his mitt and pleading for a call.
After that, Crosby left to get his hand looked at … but not before flipping out and destroying his stick.
You can watch it happen in the GIF and the videos above.
Crosby was able to return not that long after that moment, although we can only speculate regarding how his overall game will be affected if his hand isn’t 100 percent.
Tensions seem to rise with every passing game in the playoffs, particularly in a series with bad blood like the one between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals.
Kris Letang was suspended for his hit in Game 3, and some wonder if Evgeni Malkin should suffer a similar fate for his check on Daniel Winnik on Wednesday.
Winnik left the contest and has not yet returned during the third period.
Take a look at the hit in the video above and decide for yourself.
Fires devastated the Canadian city of Fort McMurray, and the St. Louis Blues are doing their part to help those who were affected.
Here’s what the team is doing to raise money during Game 4 against the Dallas Stars:
Proceeds raised through the team’s 50/50 raffle and the Blues for Kids silent auction will benefit families who have been misplaced by the fires.
Blues forward Scottie Upshall shared his thoughts with the Associated Press regarding several family members being among those evacuated from the area.
“It’s been a great city, a city that’s survived for many years through some tough times and for me, growing up there doesn’t seem too long ago,” Upshall said. “Places that probably aren’t standing anymore will be really, really tough to take. But as long as everyone’s OK, that’s the main thing.”
Other people from around the hockey world weighed in on the scary scene, including Ottawa Senators defenseman Chris Phillips, who told the Ottawa Citizen that “it hurts a lot.”
People shared some scary sights from the evacuation.