Brodeur: Rangers’ shot-blocking “in people’s heads”

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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.”

Zing.

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.”