I'm surprised he said it publicly but I have no issue with what he said. The Rangers(as much as I despise them) are doing a phenomenal job blocking shots. Now in the third round and with a trip to the Cup Finals on the line if the Devils are having shots get blocked like they are they might as well. You see a guy or two having to leave the game because they get hurt blocking shots could potentially change how the Rags play D and open up lanes for the Devils.
It's the playoffs, you do what you have to do to win, classy or not.
I agree. I don't read Brodeur's comments as him advocating that players aim a shot to injure. Given the fact that the blockers are often sliding or diving, it's kinda tough to plan a shot to the face or similarly vulnerable spot.
The shotblockers know there is an increased chance of injury when they block shots. It's a risk they and their coach are comfortable with to give them an edge, so it's dumb for an opponent to not counter that tactic by maximizing that risk (and the opponent's fear of that risk of injury) with big, booming shots. "You wanna play that way? OK, we'll at least make sure your aren't comfortable doing it, and maybe we'll make you think twice about sacrificing your body because you might actually have to sacrifice your body."
Skilled shotblockers turn their face away from the shot, so I have no problem with players taking hard, punishing shots. And if you're not a skilled shotblocker who knows to turn your face... well, maybe you should practice that skill before trying to pull it off during an NHL game. And if you break a foot while doing this — well, you knew the risk.
Of course, it can be argued that the trend to embrace shotblocking is another byproduct of the armorification of athletic equipment and that although it wasn't considered sportsmanlike in the past to take a booming shot when a player was in a vulnerable position ... well, attitudes change to keep pace with equipment. Just ask the noble knights whose chivalrous rules of warfare were decimated by the advent of gunpowder. Nothing makes a guy in armor rethink his strategy like a booming shot from a canon.
But I'm sure there are exceptions: From what I recall of shotblocking Dman Rob Scuderi from his Penguins days, he wears/wore extremely small pads. Can any Kings fan chime in on if he still wear that ancient equipment? The linked story from a few years ago quotes Brad Richards as wearing 11-year-old shoulder pads. Rangers fans, know if that's still the case?