Rangers' Braden Schneider ready to go after taking one for the team
PHILADELPHIA — Braden Schneider learned before Sunday’s game that, as part of the Rangers’ efforts to clear enough space under the salary cap to be able to trade for Patrick Kane, he was going to have to sit on the bench for the entire game against the Kings. He was OK with it, but said it wasn’t easy.
“It’s tough, and I think you definitely want to be as ready as you can,’’ Schneider said Wednesday before the Rangers’ 3-2 overtime win over the Flyers. “When you’re sitting there, and you’re kind of getting a little tight, you want to go out there. But my teammates were great, our ‘D’ corps did a great job and I was ready if they needed me if something else happened.’’
Something else did happen Sunday. Defenseman K’Andre Miller was given a match penalty for spitting at Kings defenseman Drew Doughty. That left the Rangers with four defensemen, not including Schneider, but they managed to finish the game without him.
After Sunday’s game, Schneider was assigned to Hartford so the Rangers could bank some much-needed cap space. Schneider was recalled Tuesday night without ever going to Hartford.
“I just lay low in my place,’’ he said. “It was a day off for me. So . . . I had to do what I had to do.’’
What he had to do Wednesday was play some heavy minutes, as with Miller suspended for three games, and Ryan Lindgren missing his second straight game with an upper-body injury, the Rangers once again played with five defensemen. That meant more ice time for everyone, and Schneider played 24:38, including a shift in the overtime and the secondary assist on the winning goal. That was second-most on the team behind Adam Fox's ice time (28:25).
Of course, more ice time was fine with Schneider. “It’s crazy what a few days like that can do for you,’’ he said. “And I feel excited. I feel ready to go and I feel fresh.’’