NEW YORK (WFAN) — There are certain dangers involved in the Rangers’ shot-blocking strategy.
It seems the Blueshirts were all over the ice in Monday night’s win, sliding this way and that to stop the puck in front of goalie Henrik Lundqvist. After Game 1, frustrated Devils goalie Martin Brodeur mused about how New Jersey might break the blue wall.
“They’re hot at blocking shots,” he said, according to the New York Post. “We might be able to hurt a few guys (by) hitting one-timers in the foot and their head or something.”
Perhaps it was an innocent comment. But WFAN’s Craig Carton lambasted the Devils goalie on Wednesday morning for even suggesting such a thing, and Post columnist Larry Brooks proclaimed now that “the seed has been planted … the presumption of innocence has been forfeited.”
The Devils, at least publicly, weren’t on board with intentionally aiming at New York players. The Rangers lead the Eastern Conference finals 1-0, with Game 2 at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday night.
“I can’t tell you that to put in the paper,” one unnamed player told the Post.
“That’s a little hard-core,” said Dainius Zubrus, according to the paper. “I haven’t done that yet in my career, actually shoot at anybody’s face. I’m not really planning on it. I think there are still lanes to get it through. Sometimes the puck gets away, and people get hit. But honestly, I’ve never aimed at anybody’s head.”
Devils center Adam Henrique said injuries sometimes happen when you play the shot-blocking game, but not intentionally.
“You pay the price to block shots,” he said. “It’s always been part of the game. … I don’t think you look to hit a guy in the head.”
Rangers general manager Glen Sather told the Post that Brodeur “couldn’t have been serious.” Even if it was in jest, star Brad Richards said it wasn’t an appropriate remark.
“I don’t think we’ve sunk to a level of such disrespect in this game that one player would intentionally shoot the puck at another player’s head,” Richards told the paper. “I don’t think it’s anything we have to worry about, but I don’t understand why it even would have been brought up and said that way.”
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