Rangers win a home and home against Philly thanks to a better 4th line

Tanner Glass was out of the lineup and the Rangers looked better(Getty)

Tanner Glass was out of the lineup and the Rangers looked better(Getty)

I’ll say it, the mumps won the Rangers the last two games. Tanner Glass has been diagnosed with epidemic parotitis, most commonly known as the mumps. In his absence the New York Rangers have been able to roll four useful lines. I don’t know how Ranger fans feel about Tanner Glass but this fan is not happy with the way he’s played so far this season. In my humble opinion he’s held the fourth line back.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6NGIXaNAsXE&w=560&h=315]

Tanner Glass is an average skater but has been a liability on defense. Do we all remember the goal Ryan Callahan scored while Ice Fishing in front of the Rangers crease? Tanner Glass just allowed Callahan to skate to a loose puck and slap it in the net. Isn’t Glass supposed to be a tough guy? Isnt’ he supposed to lay Ryan Callahan out that close to Henrik Lundqvist? That play did it for me and Tanner Glass. In case you forgot watch the third TB goal by Callahan in the video above.

He has a bad habit of chasing the puck instead of staying with his man in coverage. In a defensive zone overload the weak side winger has to cover passing lanes to the weak side point. Glass leaves the slot to chase the puck, leaving the weak side defenseman wide open way too often. He’s supposed to be a gritty, hard-nosed forward but in his time in New York that kind of play has been few and far between. In his absence Jesper Fast and Dominic Moore have been effective at covering heavy defensive zone minutes. As well as driving puck possession.

Rangers forward Jesper  Fast

Jesper Fast get the Broadway Hat for his 1st NHL goal (NY Rangers)

Friday night Lee Stempniak played with Fast and Moore and Saturday J.T. Miller was called up to fill in for Glass on the checking line. Both games the trio was much better. Saturday they were the Rangers best line in Glass’ absence.

Last season, the New York Rangers had enviable depth up and down the lineup. This is the reason they were able to go as far as they did in the playoffs. This season the third line is a work in progress but should be a force by the second half of the season. Kevin Hayes is getting better every NHL game he plays. Carl Hagelin and Lee Stempniak are speedy two-way wingers that can contribute offensively and are good 2-way wingers to put around Kevin Hayes.

Rangers 2010 1st round pick

JT Miller(USA Today Sports)

The Rangers haven’t gotten much from the fourth line in the first twenty-one games this season. Moore and Fast have been held back by the play or lack thereof from left-wing Tanner Glass. The last two games (22 & 23) against Philly showed how good Jesper Fast and Dominic Moore can be when paired with a good possession player.

J.T. Miller may have had his best game of his pro career Saturday at MSG. He’s an above average possession player and he even scored a goal. Jesper Fast scored his first goal of his NHL career.

Fact of the matter is the Rangers need four reliable lines that can drive possession if they want to play their game. Right now they have the top six playing pretty well. The third line is coming along. Friday and Saturday we saw what the Rangers bottom six can be without Glass chasing the puck recklessly, and not in position to block passing lanes to the weak side. Saturday the fourth line did a good job keeping the Flyers to the outside without Tanner Glass.

Financially, Tanner Glass is a problem for the Rangers because of his $1.450 million dollar salary. If the Rangers waived him and someone did us all a favor and claimed him no matter how unlikely, would be the best scenario. Even if he cleared waivers he’d still count but the Rangers would be able to take $950K off the books.

The remaining $500,000 would count against the salary cap strapped Rangers. If J.T. Miller isn’t the answer on the 4th line, then Glen Sather has to go out and find an alternative for the fourth left-wing position.

Tanner Glass hasn’t worked out thus far. His sub fourty percent on ice Corsi For this year is horrible. While he’s on the ice, he’s turning the puck over and keeping the Rangers in their end, where Glass is a trainwreck in coverage. Time to move on from Tanner Glass.

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I began watching the Rangers in 1990 when I was 9 years old. Soon after a lifelong friend of... More about Bob-O

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