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Does Tanner Glass take too much criticism?

Bobby Bevilacqua

tanner glass 3-2

The fans seem to believe that Glass doesn’t belong in the Rangers lineup, but is it because they have the wrong expectations? Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

After signing a three year, $4.35 million contract in the offseason, Tanner Glass hasn’t quite lived up to expectations. Known as a gritty fourth line player that brings toughness, and as Alain Vigneault likes to say, acts as a deterrent on the ice, Glass has shown signs of that, but really struggled at the beginning of the season.

He was on the ice for quite few goals against, didn’t really provide any offense, and didn’t appear to be doing much of anything during each game. However, Glass has really stepped up his game lately, just in time for the start of the playoffs.

Some people may think I’m crazy, but if you watch what the fourth line has been doing lately, Glass and his linemates have been pretty impressive. It’s been a long string of games that Glass has played well in, nearly scoring on a few occasions, and adding some assists to his stat sheet.

He’s been shooting the puck more often, which is really nice to see, and he always puts the puck in deep and finishes his checks. He can kill penalties, and adds a nice element of toughness to the bottom line.

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Tanner Glass plays very aggresively, and adds toughness to the Rangers bottom six. Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

 

Yes he is prone to mistakes, and sometimes makes some bad decisions, but he has been a really effective fourth liner, with his best games coming on the last road trip.

The other problem is that people expect so much more out of him than he is capable of. Tanner Glass will never be a 15-20 goal scorer, and won’t be a huge point producer, yet fans seem to expect him to be a huge part of the offensive game every night, which isn’t possible. His career high in goals is five and his career high in points is 16. A scorer is just not the type of player that he is.

If Tanner Glass goes out, defends well, finishes his check, and creates a forecheck with the rest of the fourth line, he has done his job. By pressuring the other team and pinning them in their zone, he opens up the ice for guys like Rick Nash to finish with a goal. And lately, Glass has been doing exactly that.

Some people claim that Glass is not really a tough guy or a “deterrent.” Go back to the most recent game against the Islanders. When Matt Martin decided to try and instigate something with Keith Yandle, who was the first guy there? It was Tanner Glass, getting right in the middle of things and standing up for teammates.

You don’t always have to drop the gloves with someone to be a tough guy or a deterrent. Glass is always out there finishing checks, and a lot of the things that he does is not captured on camera. Watch him at a game in person, and you’ll see him clearing the creast in front of Talbot, or getting in between guys and standing up for his teammates.

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Tanner Glass is always willing to drop the gloves and defend his teammates, but that isn’t the only way to stand up for your teammates. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

 

Alain Vigneault coached Tanner Glass on the 2010-11 Vancouver Canucks team that went to the Stanley Cup Finals, so he knows exactly what Glass can and will do. The problem is most fans have the wrong mindset of what he brings to the table.

Once people have the right expectations of Glass, they’ll start to realize that he’s actually been doing a pretty good job lately. I’m sure his unlucky streak will end soon, and we will see at least one Glass goal this year.

Just because Tanner Glass doesn’t have the greatest possession numbers, and doesn’t score 20+ points a season, doesn’t mean that he doesn’t deserve to play. There is a reason he is getting minutes on one of the best teams in the NHL, and it’s because he can be a quality, gritty, grinding fourth liner for the Rangers.

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Posted on March 14, 2015, in In the Crease and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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