Tanner Glass has been much maligned in his New York Rangers career, but finds himself having an incredibly successful series against Ottawa. Let’s take a look at his impact on the team so far.
Tanner Glass: to some, a necessary part of the New York Rangers lineup, an element no one else brings; to others, a lineup spot that should belong to anyone else. Whichever crowd one finds themselves in, it is difficult to deny that Tanner Glass has been effective in many facets of the game against the Senators this series.
The fact of the matter, however, is this: Tanner Glass has not been the Glass we typically see. Instead, he’s been an entirely different beast. He has been a possession driving forward that has outworked the opposition for pucks and, to add to this, actually put up points. It is this that has helped him be so effective so far.
How Tanner Glass Has Changed His Style
What must be understood is that it is not the physicality in itself that Glass brings that is important, but the how and why behind it. Hitting for the sake of hitting is negligible at best and dangerous at worst; going out of your way to throw a hit puts you out of position and gives the opposing puck carrier open ice. Tanner Glass, typically speaking, does this most of the time.
What has changed is that now, Glass is throwing hits that are separating bodies from pucks. He is forcing turnovers and beating players to pucks with his tenacious forechecking. This has, in turn, led to his near point per game production and above average possession numbers during this series.
Glass has also been good at adding to the frustration of Ottawa. In a similar manner to Sean Avery against Atlanta in the 2007 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Glass’s play has forced the Senators to play against themselves. This being done by forcing them into taking bad penalties and making bad plays with the puck. The cause? Glass and his frustration-inducing tactics. The frustration came to a head in the waning minutes of game 4, with Bobby Ryan and Kyle Turris getting ejected.
Lineup Decisions and Roster Depth
Normally, there would be no decision between icing Tanner Glass or Pavel Buchnevich. Buchnevich is a more talented player by a landslide. His game breaking skill set will make him a future star on this team. Even now, as a rookie, playing him will always be a better decision than using Glass.
With that said, this iteration of Tanner Glass is not the one we are used to. Due to this, the decision to play him instead of the young Russian is not as detrimental to team success as it may appear on paper.
The Rangers depth, regardless of who is playing, is also a major factor in this series. The fourth line is playing some tremendous hockey at the moment, whether Glass, Buchnevich, or Grabner is on it. Glass playing in a similar vein to the aforementioned players keeps the style necessary for Rangers success.
Whether or not it continues is yet to be seen, but Tanner Glass has been incredibly effective in this series. By turning up his skill set to another level and playing far differently than his usual, he has made himself into one of the Rangers best forwards in this series and for that, he deserves much credit.