Minimizing Tanner Glass’ impact is simply wrong and disingenuous

Kicking some Glass (AP/Mike Carlson)

Tanner Glass made his season debut last night, marking his first NHL game since April 21st, 2016. Before the game his smile was noticeable and his enthusiasm infectious. He spoke of what a “privilege” it is to play in the NHL and that he wanted to make the most of his opportunity. Glass reiterated what his game was (hitting, physical play, sticking up for teammates) and that he knows it’s something the team was missing.

He was right and he made an impact on his first shift!

Centered by Oscar Lindberg and opposite wing Brandon Pirri, Glass went in hard on a dump in. Victor Hedman, one of the best defensemen in the NHL, felt the pressure and lost the puck to the charging winger. Glass sent the puck to the point and drove to the front of the net for the team’s first scoring chance. It led to a scrum and set the tone for the Rangers play that period.

After a lifeless game against Montreal where the Rangers were outhit 35-22, the Blueshirts threw 15 hits in the first period. Welcome back Black and Blueshirts.

If that wasn’t enough, Glass then took on Tampa’s tough guy, Luke Witkowski. What ensued was a rousing bout that got the Rangers even more engaged and motivated.

The fight didn’t win the game, but Tanner Glass’ willingness to play this way resonated with his teammates and coach.

Gauging the Impact

Rangers goaltender, Antti Raanta brought up the fight in his post game interview. “Glasser got the fight and got the guys going,” he said. J.T. Miller pointed out that Glass’ fight was “huge”. Miller further explained, “It was inspirational for us to see that.”

Inspirational! Well how do you measure that? Thus, there’s the problem with the new age hockey fan obsessed with advanced stats. These intangibles can not be measured and sometimes you actually have to take the player’s words for it.

After the game, Alain Vigneault stated over and over again the Rangers need to be more physical. MSG Analysts, and former players, Dave Maloney, Ron Duguay, and Joe Michelletti all stated Glass had a huge impact and it was apparent with the way the Rangers played throughout.

But who cares!

You see, all those new age hockey folks see is this:

5:17 TOI, 10 shifts, 1 missed shot, 2 hits, and 1 useless fight!

Based on looking at that stat line, anyone who didn’t WATCH the game would agree that Glass had no impact. They would obviously be wrong based on the statements of his teammates and the PAID ANALYSTS who watched the game.

These same folks also stress that the Rangers weren’t able to roll 4 lines because of a player like Glass. That his presence in the lineup hurt his linemates. Well I am calling BULLSHIT!

Ignored in that statement are the following key pieces of information:

  • 22 minutes of the game was spent 5v4 or 4v4
  • Only Pirri would see some PP time on that line
  • No 4th line player would play in the 3v3 OT
  • Glass was in the box for 5 minutes
  • It was a 0-0 game in the third so you play your top players more
Glass Going Forward

I fully expect AV to go with the same lineup tonight, unless Michael Grabner is ready to play. If so, Brandon Pirri who took 2 horrendous minors last night needs to sit. When, Jesper Fast returns I am fairly certain Glass will be scratched and then become a spot starter.

So everyone making a mountain out of a mole hill needs to relax. It’s amazing that they were completely consumed with a 4th line role player taking up 5:17 of ice instead of the struggles of Derek Stepan.

After last night, Stepan’s goal-less drought reached 21 games. During that span he has only amassed 8 assists. The Rangers power play is abysmal and he still gets tons of ice time with not a peep from the new age stats crowd. Why? Because you like his corsi?

Stepan makes $6.5M a year. Glass makes $1M.

Once again, over valuing the process against the results is exactly why many fans like myself question their over reliance of these stats.

The Rangers won…sorry they also didn’t win the way you want your spreadsheet to look when it was over.


Anthony Scultore has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL since 2014. His work also appears at... More about Anthony Scultore

Mentioned in this article:

More About: