When it comes to blocking shots, Lightning defenseman Eric Brewer said it is better not to think about the danger.

Especially when a slap shot zips past your head, or as Brewer put it, "buzzes the tower."

"Sometimes," Brewer said, "you have to turn your brain off and make a play."

Perhaps nothing in hockey takes as much courage as blocking shots. Think about it. Players with plenty of unprotected body parts — like their faces — stepping or sliding in front of a six-ounce projectile going 100 mph.

So, it is worth noting the Lightning entered Monday tied for second in the league with 86 blocks. In its past three games — all victories — it blocked 26, 19 and 23 shots, respectively.

Yes, the team, with 24 goals, has the league's top offense. But blocked shots, coach Guy Boucher said, are "the No. 1 criteria to see people paying the price to win."

"It's one of those things," defenseman Matt Carle said. "As much as it hurts, you feel good."