It took 2 1/2 months but my “Recall Tanner Glass” campaign finally paid off as the Rangers announced yesterday that they’ve summoned the rugged forward along with defenseman Steve Kampfer from Hartford.
Dear God what have I done?
Obviously this decision is in direct response to the Rangers lackluster play of late culminating with Saturday night’s drubbing at the hands of a Canadiens team who bulked up at the trade deadline.
Throughout the 4-1 loss, the Rangers were dominated from one end of the ice to the other with the most concerning moment coming when JT Miller was left all alone on an island as Steve Ott attempted to bully the young forward.
Being outworked the entire game is inexcusable enough but for Miller to be abandoned by his teammates was sadly reminiscent of the Lundqvist/Eakins debacle in Dallas earlier this season.
When management decides to go all in on skill instead of diversifying personnel, the roster becomes vulnerable when opponents ratchet up the physical play.
It also limits available adjustments as the Rangers finesse oriented lineup is rarely able to grind out a goal when an opponent takes away their speed game.
I’ve complained all season that the Rangers personnel was too redundant and predictable while begging for the acquisition of a grinding presence at the trade deadline.
While I was happy they focused on a huge need on defense, Rangers management follied by not addressing their dearth of energy players.
The 2016-17 Rangers scream for some variety. A guy who can change the course of a game with one hit or by mixing it up with a post whistle scrum.
I know there’s not a way to quantify it through fancy stats but intangibles are the variable of success in the postseason.
While the Canadiens, Maple Leafs, Wild and Kings were solidifying their rosters at the trade deadline with players willing to lay it all on the line in the name of victory, Jeff Gorton sat on his hands content with a forward group allergic to physical play.
Enter Tanner Glass.
Does he make the Rangers better? Probably not. In fact I’d argue that he likely makes them worse. But this team needs a spark in the worst way and right now the current roster is failing to prove that they’re capable of providing it.
So why not? The Rangers are currently banged up at forward and comfortably in a playoff spot. It’s a low risk, high reward move. If AV can get Glass to somehow rally the troops down the stretch then the gamble paid off. And if he doesn’t? The Rangers are likely still sitting pretty in the 1st Wild Card position and he’ll be re-assigned to the Wolf Pack.
It’s very convenient to blame management for this polarizing decision. However, before aiming your venom at Jeff Gorton and Alain Vigneault you might want to focus on the group of Rangers players who have shown neither competitiveness nor desperation the last few weeks forcing the organization to turn to a 33-year old AHLer to potentially save their season.