Tanner Glass is often criticized by the Rangers faithful for not bringing enough skill to the lineup, but in the playoffs he is showing why the Rangers brought him in. Before every game on twitter, fans can often be seen questioning the decision to play Glass over James Sheppard. Let me be clear, I am not tackling that argument. I am simply pointing at Glass, and saying he has been good, I will then lay out a few reasons why I think he’s performing well.
Through just 3 games, Glass is third on the Rangers in hits with 9. He has been getting into the zone with speed, and punishing defenders every chance he gets. Glass told Jim Cerny of Blueshirts United about being physical on Wednesday afternoon, “Anytime you can be physical on any player its an asset, especially in a seven game series, where you don’t know how long it gonna go, any bump can help, you never know when your gonna give that guy a bruise.” The clip below shows Glass taking away the outlet, forcing the play up the wall, and then finishing his check. These are the kinds of plays that have allowed the 4th line to have such an impact.
Glass actually had a few nice looks at the net on Monday. He just seems to be finding the play, and whenever he has space, he applies his shoot first mentality. For those of you who understand advanced stats, Glass is only a -1, with his line having attempted 21 shots in 3 playoff games, (this means that while he has been on the ice, only 22 shots have been attempted against the Rangers). This -1 Corsi ties him with Derek Stepan and Dominic Moore. The clip below shows Glass taking the puck over the line and taking a good low shot through the defender, that Marc-Andre Fleury needs to punch out of play. Glass recognizes that he can use the defender as a screen, he then turns an “ok” scoring chance into a “good” scoring chance.
Why Its Working
I’ve been watching this series closely, and I can tell you that the Rangers 4th line has really looked strong, and Glass has been doing a nice job on the wing. Glass is a big bodied forward who plays an honest straight ahead game. I think that his approach to the game, is a stark contrast to the rest of the Rangers lineup. Typically the Rangers look to strip the puck and make quick passes, so Penguin defenders get used to playing a cuter game to get by the fore-check; then when Glass gets on, he is able to surprise defenders with a check and change the flow of play.
Glass and his line mates have been playing a straight forward game and it is giving them results in all three zones. Glass spoke about his line and their mentality heading into game 4 on Wednesday, “We feel good as a line, we feel like were contributing, but for us we want to play a 200 foot game, we want to make sure every puck were crossing the center ice line with, is getting deep. That’s not to say were not gonna try to get it to the net when we can.”
Glass is expected to play in his 41st career playoff games on Wednesday.
I graduated from Brooklyn College with a B.S. in Broadcast Journalism. Shortly after, I began writing for the Full Tilt Hockey Network, where I still contribute, covering a broad range of topics across the NHL.
I have been contributing to The Hockey Writers since February of this year focusing on the New York Rangers. My articles tend to focus on analysis of players, and possible directions that the organization could go.