Thoughts following the Glass and Kampfer call ups

Yesterday sure was a day in Rangerland, wasn’t it? The Rangers world was lit on fire when the Rangers announced that they had recalled Tanner Glass and Steven Kampfer. The move was designed to address a perceived issue that the Rangers lacked toughness. So Glass and Kampfer have been recalled. And I have some thoughts.

1. Let’s start with the reason why the call ups were made: Toughness. First things first, toughness is a very subjective term. I think toughness is quantified by playing through injuries. Others believe it to be the number of hits delivered. Regardless of your definition of toughness, there are two problems with these moves. The first is that two players –one (Kampfer) who won’t be in the lineup in a week– do not change the toughness culture. Players that have that requisite “skill” need to be dispersed throughout the lineup. The second is that no one seemed to have a problem with this exact same lineup in January when they were winning games. It only became an issue over the past four games.

2. That brings me to my main gripe with this move. This is a 100% reactionary move off a bad week. The issue wasn’t they were getting outhit or out-toughed, the issue was they stopped skating and forechecking. They allowed their opponents to run all over them and didn’t put pressure on them in the offensive zone. The games would be significantly different (maybe, I’ll get to that) if they were executing their 1-2-2 forecheck instead of playing a passive 1-4. I don’t believe that was by design, I think the Rangers just had a bad stretch where their heads weren’t in the games. But again, nothing to do with toughness.

3. Getting to that whole games would be different thing: Maybe they wouldn’t be. The Rangers faced at least three playoff teams, possibly four. They lost to two of the top three teams in the league in Columbus and Washington. They lost to the Atlantic leading Canadiens in there as well. As we’ve been saying since the beginning of the year, this team wasn’t going far because of the blue line. So when the forwards aren’t on, as mentioned in point 2, they won’t win.

4. Now on to the actual players. The Tanner Glass horse has been beaten to death. We all know what he does and doesn’t bring to the lineup. He will, at the very least, attempt to chip the puck into the zone and establish a forecheck. But other than that, there should be no expectations for a guy who will play eight minutes a night and not play on special teams. Also worth noting that if Tanner Glass is the guy you want to help re-establish a forecheck, then something went significantly wrong somewhere else.

5. As for Steven Kampfer, let’s not forget he’s the one that the Rangers received for Dylan McIlrath and hasn’t been a consistent NHLer in his career. That’s not a slight against Kampfer, he’s made it further than any of us. But it’s a statement about what he’s expected to replace. Adam Clendening will be out of the lineup, and that’s likely the wrong move. But this is a temporary move until one of Kevin Klein or Dan Girardi are back in the lineup.

6. As you can expect, I do not like these moves and think they are signs of poor asset management and talent evaluation. But I guess there’s more to come.

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  • Any word on line combos and who will be watching from the pressbox to make room for the call ups?

  • I disagree that this is just a “bad stretch”. I dont beleive our record vs current east playoff teams is very good. I think the book has been out for a while that you can beat us into submission. As you saw mtl and ottawa load up on size and physicality at deadline. Question is what was gorton thinking? There were better players to fill this role than glass. Either it was an obersight by management or a gross miscalculation. (AV casually blamed the roster limit)

    • I’m thinking that calling Glass up is more of a shake-up move to get the guys in the locker room to realize the org isn’t happy, rather than a signal this team is looking to change it’s style or composition.

      You can’t send an entire team to the press box, but you can call up the one enigmatic player from the farm which signals the org is not happy with the team’s recent effort.

      I’d be very surprised if Glass isn’t the one sent back down when bodies start to get healthy again.

      • Actually there is really no reason to send Glass back down. He is a career NHL player and in some sense belongs in the NHL. He does not belong and is not needed in Hartford. Salary cap considerations and roster limits are no longer relevant.

        There is a big difference between being on the roster and actually dressing for games. And until he starts getting playing time more than a game or two, I won’t be concerned.

        Other factors: AV likes to carry eight defensemen – just doesn’t because of the cap. And one of the problems in recent years has been overly banged up defensemen. If he can get people more time to get un-hurt, maybe there will be a better result.

        Bottom line: Look at who gets dressed, not who gets called up.

        • Salary cap and roster limits are in force until the last day of the regular season. Actually, the Rangers just burned two of their remaining four call ups (unless the NHL finally got rid of that asinine rule).

          Everything else you said is on point.

          • After trade deadline, roster limits go away but limited to 4 callups. Must stay cap compliant, but with banked cap credits this isn’t an issue.

            I would expect any prospect whose team is eliminated early would stay with big club and be used as practice fodder.

    • “I dont beleive our record vs current east playoff teams is very good.”

      1 game below .500, so the Rangers are about average.

      Boston Bruins 3-0-0
      Columbus Blue Jackets 2-3-0
      Montreal Canadiens 0-2-0
      Ottawa Senators 1-1-0
      Pittsburgh Penquins 1-2-0
      Washington Capitals 2-1-0
      TOTAL 8-9-0

      Of those in contention for the #8 spot, the Rangers have a winning record EXCEPT the Islanders.
      Islanders (1-2-0), Toronto (2-1-0), Tampa Bay (1-0-0), and Philadelphia (2-1-0)

    • False. The 3rd round pick is the main piece in that deal. I’m sure DET is happy to get another young asset, but you’re fooling yourself if you think he was the main target there.

      • Yeah but the point is.

        We got kampfer for mcilrath. And a 7th round if he plays 30 games. Fat chance of that happening.

        And fla gets vanek for a 3rd and mcilrath.

        We got fleeced in that deal.

        • I’d rather have a 3rd round pick than Vanek- a rental for a playoff run.

          The only way we get fleeced there is if McIlrath develops into a significant and steady NHLer and Kampfer doesn’t. Until that happens, no fleecing has occurred.

  • Saturday I took my daughter to our first ever game at MSG. Had bar stool seating on the bridge. Great view of the worst game I’ve seen the Rangers play this season. Doubt that Glass or Kampfer would have hurt that effort.

      • I thought the view was great. Lots of room around us and concession stands had almost no waiting. If the team had played better it would have been a perfect day.

        • This is always a question (finances aside). Sitting up high, you can really see the geometry of the game and appreciate the strategy and thinking that goes into it. But you lose the physicality. Down low, you get that, plus you can see the puck in the net (at your end) almost as soon the player. However, you lose sight of the puck when it is along the near boards. I always shift my view to the goaltender when that happens.

          Hope the daughter had a good time! My daughter was born in 1994: she met Mike Richter once and told him that I had wanted to give her “Stanley Cup” as a middle name, which he thought was funny.

  • The call up is nothing more than management sending a message to AV to get on the backs of this team. This is no more than a desperate move to get something going, and if we don’t get a positive reaction, don’t be too surprised if AV is given his walking papers upon getting sent home after the first round……….

    Teams got bigger, and we go into the PO’s with a bunch of wimps, who get manhandled, and call it a day. This team is so predictable, and now the others are starting to play tight defense, shutting down our stretch passes, and we have no counter, that is terrible !!!!!!! I love my team, I hate the route they have taken, Glass is no answer other than to pacify this coach………

    • Maybe AV lobbied Gorton to bring his boy Glass back up? Agree that it is a message being sent…. but we have no idea if it’s from Gorton or AV.

    • I agree this is a message being sent. But is it management sending a message to AV or AV sending a message to the team?

    • This is a response to the last 10 seconds of the Montreal game. Miller got whacked by 3 players and Ott chased him around. Not ONE. Teammate stood up for him. Shame on them. Either Gorton or AV felt the disrespect.Whether or not we go anywhere in the playoffs is irrelevant,but our team should not be abused by others. Our opponents watch tape and know exactly what liberties they can take.

  • Hate to sound like an endless loop but the biggest problem the Rangers have is that their stellar group of forwards refuses to consistently backcheck, forecheck or just plain check. When they do, they can beat teams like the Caps. Too often they do it for one period a game.

    • Welcome to this small exclusive club, I’ve been saying the same thing going on two years now, but the oft repeated message is that the D is responsible for all the Rangers woes, has taken on a life of its own.

    • My question to you, and everyone else on this site, if Peter, and Doc, as well as others have make this observation, why hasn’t the coaching staff addressed this problem?????? I realize the coach doesn’t play the game, but he sits the kids for minor errors, yet let’s others screw up so badly, and never does squat to them. Does anyone else think this is a way to coach players??????? Enough said !!!!!!!!!!

  • The Rangers needed to do what Montreal did at the deadline Ott and King (Julien knows to win a cup you need a 4th line that wears down d men with hits) Montreal is a playoff ready team with the players they picked up. This is why A.V. has been to the finals three times and lost. I know most of you don’t remember the Stanley Cup Rangers we traded Amonte, Weight & Gartner plus and got Noonan, Matteau, Mctavish and some other big bodies and that’s how we won the cup (4th line bangers) the game has changed a lot since then but winning in the playoffs having a 4th line (sandpaper players is key) We will play one round again and done. This is your reality check. Julien could win his third this year with Monteal.

  • This is almost Trumpian in its misdirection. First, Stepan hasn’t scored since Dylan went electric (look it up youngsters!), Zib has been downright awful since his return and it has been pretty much a lost season for him. Mika has 3 goals since returning in 20 games and 2 of them came in first game back. He has been a major disappointment especially on the PP with no PP goals in 93+ minutes of time. Jimmy Vesey has 5 pp goals in 10 more minutes of time. The much beloved Zucc has 3 goals in 27 games which is dreadful for a first line wing. Add in Grabner regressing to the mean with no goals in 9 before being injured and that 40 goal season going up in smoke. No one said he could shoot 20+% all year. The changed man Kevin Hayes is having a ridiculously poor stretch of games with 4 goals in 32. He’s changed alright, changed right back to the last few years.

    In short, the defense hasn’t changed a bit. They have played exactly like we thought they would. It’s the offense that cannot get it done. So, why focus on the 6-7-8 defenseman when it’s your top 6 who can’t score and are putting up anemic point totals. Also, could Benoit Allaire please tell Hankie not to do anything with the puck behind the net? For an elite goalie, he is possibly the single worst stick handler and puck mover I have ever seen.

      • Love his attitude. When I see him live, he’s always giving the effort and is pissed when things go wrong. Plus, can’t complain when he’s the leading points man.

    • Al is speaking the truth. Gorton and waaaay to may bloggers kept thinking our only problem was the defense, while the offense went into hibernation 10 games ago. Somewhere I read our top 10 players scored a total of 10 goals in the past 10 games. That is just not getting it done! We are supposed to have young centers. They are playing like they are old and tired. Zucc, Krieder, Nash, Grabner, JT – have all lost there edge.

      The rest of the league seems to know this is crunch time, and the time you get yourself ready for playoff hockey. I am by no means an AV-hater, but someone has to get that locker-room game-ready. Isn’t that what the captains are for? Where is McD? Where is Stepan? This is where we need a leader with some HEART.

      • Offense usually comes in ebbs and flows. This is an ebb. I try not to ride offensive swings like this too much.

        Could they be more consistent and back check better? Absolutely.

        The concern I’m illustrating in the post is more process than personnel. Thinking Glass doesn’t sovlve a problem that likely doesn’t exist (points 1/2). It’s reactionary and doesn’t move the needle forward.

          • Both Zibanejad and Stepan hit a cold streak at the same time. It’s unfortunate. But better now than in April.

          • When Girardi, Staal and Klein have 2 bad games it isn’t a cold streak, its they are old and decrepit, with horrible contracts and their snow angels cost us games. Zinbad and Stepan get passes. Time to be fair to the offense AND the defense.

            Hayes (over the last 10) has become last year’s Hayes. Yes, it is all ebb and flow, but you can’t have the whole top 3 lines and the PP and PK go into a funk at the same time, and that is just what has happened.

          • Z is coming back from a sever injury, Chris Jr hasn’t scored since Jan 17th, what’s his excuse???

            Have you ever seen Stepan sent to the press box? Not no, but hell no !!!!!!!!! Maybe he is fat and sassy with his big contract, and no need to bust his hump from here on out????????

      • Sal

        All great points, but then again, we are one dimensional. Teams have had time to watch tapes of us, and they are shutting us down with a tight forecheck, and not permitting us to have those long outlet passes.

        I am a Marv disliker as we all know, I don’t hate people, but one would think that after seeing this, why in the heck have no, none, zero changes been made. My friends, it all points to Marv again doesn’t it??????

  • Kampfer isn’t even the best RD choice from Hartford. Undersized & overmatched. If the front office think that he is the best RD choice and not Paliotta, they need to start evaluating the evaluators.

  • This lack of scoring recently is a good thing….Several of our key players will need new contracts at end of this year…..This drought will serve to keep salaries in check…..maybe keep grabner on the team…….

    Future wise, this team is loaded with talented, young scorers, no need to worry……[best group i have seen in 45 years of watching…..]

    All we need to compete is to [easier said than done] add a dubinsky type of veteran leader/physical/ center….two big/ physical/ mobile/ righty defensemen
    and somehow subtract Stepan , girardi, klein and stall ….in that order since IMHO stall still hits and gives us that …..

  • I don’t think a major personnel shakeup is what is needed. The people they have can do what is needed. The question is whether they will commit to playing the game the way it is necessary to play to win.

  • We have been smacked around and treated like punks all year and we severely lack heart..
    They clobbered hank and we did nothing.. Nothing..
    We need a gritty tough guy out there who will do the little things it takes to win and stick up for his goddamn teammates(besides zuker)…
    I love seeing tanner glass back in the lineup because he truly deserves to be there..

    • Haven’t you heard that the NHL, and the game has changed, according to many who think that people like you, and I are cavemen? I’m sorry but under this guy, we will never have a gritty player who may take a penalty, causing us to have to kill it. I’m so damn frustrated with Marv’s style, and thought process. He loves guys like Stepan, they are soft, won’t attempt to hit anyone, and doesn’t take penalties. Maybe we should start calling him Taco, because he plays like one !!!!!!! This is a family friendly site……….

  • C’mon, we all knew that Glass was coming up at some point & that point is now because AV is royally pissed off that his players seemingly are not competing. Maybe like me, they lost hope when AV was extended(LOL!), so we go back to those same old concepts of “will” & “leadership”, because even with that D, they could still be competitive. Girardi & Klein may not be sterling, but I’d take them over Clendo & Holden every day of the week. What the Rangers REALLY need is not Kampfer(holding my nose) & Glass, it’s a new coach with some new ideas & who is a leader & a motivator.

  • I need a hero
    I’m holding out for a hero ’til the end of the year
    He’s gotta be strong, he’s gotta be fast
    And he’s gotta be larger than life, larger than life

    Instead we got Stepan, Kried and Nash
    Together they pull in $18M
    Haven’t scored 18 points in 18 games
    and haven’t thrown a check in 18 weeks

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