By the numbers, even the fancy ones Tanner Glass should be in over James Sheppard
Martin St. Louis is coming back into the lineup tonight and that meant someone needed to be scratched. The choice was obvious right? It was going to be Tanner Glass of course, but alas Alain Vigneault has opted to take out James Sheppard instead. For the record, it’s the right move.
Glass has earned his spot on the current roster over Sheppard. I fully understand that for the season Sheppard statistically belongs in over Glass. Matter of fact, I think that the Rangers would be better off with Sheppard in as well. However, I’m currently sitting on my ass punching keys while Alain Vigneault punches all the right buttons to win.
Both Glass and Sheppard have suited up for the last 8 games together. Sports is all about what have you done for me lately and season long stats aside, Glass has been better than Sheppard during this stretch. Below is a snapshot of what I feel are stats they should be judged by (even CF%)
Tanner Glass currently has it all over James Sheppard in every category except Takeaways vs. Giveaways. Now I’m sure there’s a blogger or two waiting to jump all over me (which is cool if they’re cute). They probably have some other charts or another way to measure effectiveness in the fancy stats realm to hit me over the head with. Still, we are talking about two fourth line grinders here and Glass has simply had more impact in the last 8 games.
Both players are meant to bring a physicality to their roles and they each do. However, Glass is just doing it better and has 11 more hits than Sheppard during this span. On top of it all, Glass has a goal and a -1 rating. Sheppard unfortunately has 0 points and has been on the ice for an extra goal against.
In the flawed world of corsi where you can get a +1 by saucing one on the goalie at the end of a shift, Glass has Sheppard by 1.8! For the record, I’ve noticed Glass has been shooting a lot more than he did in the beginning of the season. Mind you, they’re harmless shots from the boards and blue-line because he probably knows it will make his corsi look better.
Players all around the league know that these metrics and out there and are cognizant how to pad them. I’ve spoken to several in the business off the record and they’ve even given me names of those that do. Don’t get me started on the fact that these numbers are collected and inputted by people who can make mistakes. However, I digress because the bottom line is Glass has been better.
Also, his teammates love him as does the coach. So our blogging and tweeting opinions mean nothing. You can continue to be the old man screaming at the clouds or you can sit back and watch the Rangers possibly clinch the Metro Division tonight in Minnesota.
Imagine if the Rangers didn’t have Tanner Glass this year? Scary to think that they may have been able to be the first team in hockey to go undefeated. Yes, that was dripping hot with sarcasm. Oh well, we’ll just have to settle for the inevitable clinching of the Metro Division, possible President’s Trophy and maybe even the Stanley Cup. All in spite of Tanner Glass….amazing.