Every once in a while a stat pops up that seems impossible.
One of them is the fact Braden Schneider, the Rangers’ physical defenseman who has earned the tag “Baby Trouba” for obvious reasons, has taken a total of three minor penalties in 1,026 minutes on the ice.
“I always try to be hard, I want to be physical, I want to be the guy who wins the battles,” the 21-year-old sophomore said. “But I try not to get my stick up, I want to play stick on puck, I keep my elbows in. I’m aware of all that. I guess I’ve also been fortunate.”
Schneider is one of three defensemen to have played at least 1,000 minutes with three minors, along with Ottawa’s Jake Sanderson and San Jose’s Marc-Eduard Vlasic.
That type of distinction would have eluded Schneider in his minor hockey days.
“When I was younger I missed a ton of games after taking majors. I would catch guys high and then I’d be sitting,” he said. “But then when I got into junior, I did a better job of picking my spots. I learned to explode through guys lower.”
Schneider takes a minor for every 342 minutes on the ice.
Astonishing. By contrast, Adam Fox takes one for every 111:00; Ben Harpur, one every 109 minutes; K’Andre Miller, one every 108:00; Jacob Trouba, one every 90 minutes; Ryan Lindgren, one every 60 minutes; and Niko Mikkola, one every, uh (or is that, uh-oh?), 37 minutes as a Ranger.
Rules governing hitting changed between Schneider’s first and second years of peewee, when he was 11 and 12. Hitting was allowed his first season, but not his second.
“Without hitting that second year, I learned more using my feet to get into position and angling guys off the play,” Schneider said. “The first year, though … it was fun.”
Ryan Lindgren will miss his ninth straight game Thursday with the left shoulder injury he incurred at Washington on Feb. 25. The erstwhile first-pair left defenseman skated on his own before practice Wednesday.
“He’s getting close,” head coach Gerard Gallant said. “He’s doing well, but we’re in a situation where we’re going to make sure. There’s no sense putting him back in for one game and something goes wrong.“It’s progressing every day, he’s getting better, it’s not a setback. It just takes time. I was hoping for a week ago, but we’ve got to be smart here.”
Patrick Kane stepped on a puck and fell to the ice on one knee at practice Wednesday. He remained down for a bit while staying out for extra time.
“I’m fine, I’m good,” he said later, shaking his head. “It was pretty funny.”
No one seemed to be laughing at the time.
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