Schenn's working through his mistakes

ROB LONGLEY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:55 AM ET

Much like the standup defenceman he was throughout his rookie season, Luke Schenn is big enough to admit his second year has been a struggle thus far.

What he won’t accept is the notion that he’s suddenly been lulled into the comforts of life as an NHLer.

“I haven’t been my best so far, but I’m working at it,” Schenn said following practice Wednesday.

“I’m going to get better. At times maybe I’m just thinking a little too much instead of reacting and using my instincts. I’ve got to be more physical.”

Schenn hasn’t been the dominant force as often as he was in his rookie season and has been prone to rookie-style mistakes. On Tuesday, he got caught behind the net on Mikko Koivu’s third goal for the Wild in a 5-2 loss.

But Schenn remains one of the team’s harder workers and invariably is the last player off the ice after practice.

“You’ve got to earn everything you get here and it’s a privilege to play in this league,” Schenn said when the complacency notion was raised Wednesday. “I don’t feel that way at all. I’ve got to keep working hard. Things haven’t gone great off the start. But the only way to get through that is to continue to work hard.”

Leafs coach Ron Wilson says some of Schenn’s growing pains have been evident. But Wilson believes such struggles are to be expected and he intends to have the big defenceman work through it.

“I keep on his rear end every day in practice,” said Wilson, who has reduced Schenn’s ice time in part because the team has more depth on the blue line. “It’s up to Luke to start playing with the intensity we need from him.

“The first year kind of went (his) way and you come in and relax and don’t have the same drive and hunger. It’s up to me as a coach to get that out of him.”


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