On Tanner Glass and playing down a goal in the third

tanner glass

Folks, I’m going to break a rule of mine. You see, I had promised myself that aside from the game recap the other night, I wouldn’t devote any time or thought to the Tanner Glass recall. Figuring that it’s a minor move likely to be soon undone, and deciding that there were better horses to beat to death than the one that’s been beaten over and over, I made a solemn vow to just find something else to talk about.

The other night however Alain Vigneualt made a decision that simply put, blew my mind. I had long since turned off the game (I wasn’t feeling well and just wanted to sleep), so I learned about this all secondhand, but with a one-goal deficit late in the third AV opted to play Tanner Glass as his extra attacker, benching Pavel Buchnevich.

As a fan and a writer I’ve certainly been critical of some of the decisions and habits of coach Vigneault, but on the whole have liked what he’s brought to the team. He’s certainly been an improvement over our previous skipper, seems to get his system across well, and his record speaks for itself. Still, I feel as though AV’s late-game decision the other night was crossing the Rubicon in a way.

So much of the debate over Tanner Glass’s place in the Rangers lineup has centered around advanced statistics and the idea that playing with a certain type of edge can’t be quantified. My position on the matter at this point should be clear, and I have no interest in re-litigating that debate. Instead what I’m going to propose is that this decision AV made the other night is about a much more simple thing: evidence.

You see, I get the defense of AV putting Glass on as an extra attacker. In essence, it’s that he was having a good game, played well since his recent call-up, and the Rangers wanted someone to go to the front of the net and provide a screen. Still though, there’s something about this that just doesn’t make sense.

While Glass’s style of play certainly lends itself to the idea that he’d be unafraid to go to the front of the net and get scrappy, and his recent success is undeniable, all of the evidence we have points to the idea that any other player would have been more likely to contribute to a goal. His two-point night the other evening is best understood as an aberration, with his point totals, GF, CF, and SCF all indicating that he just doesn’t generate that much offense.

That’s not to knock the guy, whom I respect as a person, but what’s perplexing further still about the pro-Glass argument is that the typical line of thinking seems to be flipped on its head to arbitrarily defend a player whose play is obsolete at the NHL level. Proponents of Glass would tell you that his game brings grit and toughness to the Rangers that isn’t otherwise present, that he kills penalties, and that he helps establish a good forechecking game.

Suddenly though these qualities, general defensively or transitionally focused are supplanted by a new quality: he’s actually an offensive dynamo. It just doesn’t make sense. Two points in one game notwithstanding, all of the evidence we have points to the idea that he just doesn’t generate offense, with his long scoring droughts being almost unparalleled league-wide.

While you might bring up that other players on the Rangers, Derek Stepan for example, also are experiencing long scoring droughts, that comparison does not hold. For one, the length of time between goals isn’t as long, and what’s more is that all of the evidence suggest those players would eventually return to their normal ways of producing at least some offense. With Glass that’s just not there.

It’s true that Glass had a fairly solid CF% of 50 the other night, but again the big issue here is evidence. There’s overwhelming proof that anyone else on the team might be more inclined to score that one special goal late in the game with the goalie pulled, and instead AV went with Glass. Given the weight of the evidence against his decision, it simply comes across as arbitrarily playing favorites, and a way to stick it to fans who really do sincerely just want the best for this team. It’s nothing against Glass or AV as people, it’s just about basic concepts of proof. It gives credence to the argument that AV plays his favorites to his detriment, and that’s not what this team needs right now.


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  • Yep, it’s a waste of time.

    He almost scored a stuffer. NYR lost a game in March that is meaningless.


  • Glass, isn’t he someone’s lap dog??????????

    Being out there is mind boggling !!!!!!!!!!

    Let the defense of this move begin…………..

  • After reviewing the tape, it seems to me that the issue was fresh legs following 8 games in 13 nights more than anything else. That and the fact the Buch specifically was apparently gassed and wasn’t having a good game (per Larry Brooks).

    As I said yesterday, it’s not the move i would have made, but as Al correctly states, its a meaningless game in March.

  • In meaningful games during the playoffs a couple years ago, the coach would constantly put glass on the offensive draw wasting offensive opportunities. Talking about shooting yourself in the foot.
    This is a common occurrence with the coach and E3 is blindly following.

  • Did you watch the game? When they played dump and run, Glass was the only player beating Dmen to the puck. None of the top line players did that. .they were tired. Buch looked like a rag doll falling and being pushed off the puck constantly. He needs to gain strength or he will end up like that other Russian (refresh my memory) that used to play with Ovi in Washington and is now out of the league.

    • I agree. The parts of the game I saw I commented to my son that Glass looked so much quicker on his shifts than I can ever remember with him. Not sure what he’s been doing in terms of conditioning while at Hartford.

      Or maybe, his tired Rangers teammates just made him look fast by comparison. 🙂

    • Buch is not strong enough yet as you have pointed out.

      When I was at the Garden earlier in January against Philly and LA, I noticed him being very easily tossed aside.

        • Probably better than a gassed Buch I’d imagine.

          Besides, didn’t he nearly do just that?

          There were other guys on the ice who could score. Glass is a big body who can win a battle and make it possible for the true scorers to score.

          • I agree! he creates opportunities with hard clean checks. Tanner wakes up other players to start hitting which creates scoring chances. Any goals he scores are just a extra plus.

    • I’d prefer the Rangers don’t play dump and chase. I’d prefer they carry the puck in, something Glass is not good at.

      However yes, Glass is good at pursuing the puck and getting in deep when dump and chase is needed.

  • Just get rid of Glass finally, you have there Hrivik and Jensen and you still play this figure skater?

    • Glass has been described as many things, but figure skater? That’s a new one!

      Hrivik and Jensen bring nothing to the table, so what is the point of recalling them? Or are we just overrating our AHL prospects yet again?

      Glass had a positive impact on his first two NHL games of the season. Small sample obviously but so far, good move by AV and Gorton.

      • Eddie, I blog from a cruise ship in the western Carribian. Tanner Glass providing a boost that has been absent for a while. AV should keep him going until he proves other wise. The fact he has an edge to his game and fears no one is a huge benefit on a soft team.

        • Awesome Bobby! Enjoy the cruise!

          You know I’m in the camp about skill trumps size and “edge” any day every day, especially in modern era hockey. But I have no issue at all with Glass on this squad, at least at the moment.

          If you need someone to drop the gloves and spend some time in the box as a result, no issue if it’s a 4th line forward who gets limited minutes. More of a concern if it’s a 3rd pair defenseman who tend to eat up so considerably more TOI.

          So yes, we are in agreement. Enjoy!!!!

  • Most would agree calling up glass in the first place was to send a message to others to play with heart, yes?

    My guess is when AV saw glasses past 2 games and the one he was having, combined with seeing buch looking as I said, uninterested, this is what others are calling gased… I feel AV felt pretty good about continuing the message to the team.

    and lets face it, people who already commenting about AV looking good with the points and play of glass and the other call up…. so why not let glass possible make him look even better…

    all this is only possible due to whats started above… only a game in march, and currently like 13 in the playoffs…

    cheers mates

  • Coaching isn’t always about “evidence” as gut feeling or just a feel for who is playing well in a certain game are factors. While I am not an AV fan I understand a coaches feel.

  • Just another example of why this coach will never win a Cup.

    There are no circumstances that come close to justifying such stupidity, no matter how hard the coach tries.

  • Hey my friend!

    So let me get this straight. AV puts Glass on the ice late in a relatively meaningless game. We lose. Coach sucks. Which conclusively proves we have no chance to ever win the Cup.

    Frankly, its hard to understand how we aren’t total bottom feeders with this clueless coach, and how he’s managed to win so many playoff series behind the Rangers bench.

    Oh i know what it is…it’s all that high end elite future HOF talent he has to put on the ice season after season that’s carrying this team. 🙂

    • LOL, you know for a fact that it’s not one poor personnel decision, it’s an ongoing plethora of bonehead, numb nutz, personnel decisions/deployments, whatever you want to call them, that keeps this guy from being a really good head coach.

      Sometimes I really do not know WTF he is thinking. I really don’t.

      Granted, the talent is good, not elite, but yo still use whatever personnel you have in the the best way possible. THAT’S HIS JOB. 🙂

  • Tanner Glass,for president. AV seen he was the only guy playing hard and he doesn’t have to be the guy scoring. With his hard forechecking he could force a loose puck to be picked and put in the net. That’s of course if the rest of the line felt up to going after the loose puck.

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