Rangers defender Ryan Lindgren said his face looks worse than it actually is.
The swirling black, blue and purple tones that surround his right eye with an eerie green in the inner corner make this hard to believe. There is also a blood vessel in the eye and two separate stitch lines, one high on his right cheekbone and another over the bridge of the nose.
But that's exactly what happens when you play as hard as Lindgren, said defender Tony DeAngelo, who said the 22-year-old was approaching the game of hockey "as if it were still 1980".
Lindgren, who skated with the Rangers in 48 games this season, has earned a reputation among his team-mates to be tough. It's a trait he's proven in every game since AHL Hartford called him on October 28 after failing to get through the last round of squad cuts before the opening night.
In the 3-3 loss to the Bruins on Sunday, Lindgren proved it again and was able to compete with one of the most notorious agitators in the league: Brad Marchand. In the first phase, Marchand beat Lindgren with a rabbit before holding his stick until Lindgren retaliated and was ordered to pay a penalty.
Lindgren then caught a high stick from David Krejci's face, hence the stitches. The wound even opened again, which Lindgren was not aware of until the referee told him to leave the ice. Later in the second phase, Marchand checked Lindgren from behind for the ice.
What happened on Sunday evening apparently stayed with Marchand, who told reporters after the game that Lindgren "would not be a player there who would have a very long career".
"For me it's just hockey," Lindgren told The Post in response to Marchand's comments after Tuesday's training. "He's a competitive guy, I'm a competitive guy. We compete against each other. I just leave it on the ice. I'm not a guy who'll talk about it afterwards. He wants to do that? Go straight.
“He is a good player and I like to play against top players. I try to be physically on boys. Obviously, he didn't like it. But that only means that I do my job. "
Coach David Quinn, who found his familiarity with Marchand through workouts at Boston University, expressed his disappointment in Marchand's comments after Tuesday's training.
"Of course I know [Marchand is] He is an agitator and has a quick mind. He likes to stir things up, ”said Quinn. "But only disappointed because you're talking about a guy who has a lot of skill. Marchand is one of the better players in the league and he was once 21 years old and Lindgren has many of the qualities that Marchand has. Just more than anything else disappointed. "
DeAngelo was the first ranger to respond to Marchand's comments, quoting the post-game interview, saying, “Lindgren will actually be in the league for a long time to come. Save your cold-blooded BS. “Lindgren said that he later thanked DeAngelo for his defense.
Lindgren, ironically ranked 49th overall by the Bruins in 2016, came to the Rangers as part of the deal that sent Rick Nash to Boston in February 2018. He only played five NHL games last season, but has since consolidated into third defensive pairing with Adam Fox.
Lindgren has so far accumulated 10 points (one goal, nine assists) this season while playing an average of 16 to 18 minutes per game. But his physicality was an invaluable trait for a young Rangers club that is still fighting for a place in the postseason.
"He plays right, he plays hard, you look at his face and [know] He would do anything to help the team win, ”DeAngelo said about Lindgren. "We think he will be a really good player for a long time to come. That's all I have to say about it."