The New York Rangers have had a good season to date, aside from a few slip-ups. However, they are lacking in a very important department.
As the season has progressed, the New York Rangers have had a few ups and downs. For the most part, the team has played well even when stacked with injuries; they found a way to pull through.
However, as holiday season approaches, something is becoming clearer and clearer every day.
The Rangers need someone tough out on the ice.
Who is readily available? None other than fan favorite, Tanner Glass.
While it may come as a pain to Blueshirts fans, it’s all that they have at the moment. Glass is not the best player in the world, even for a tougher player, but he just could get the job done.
Toughness, or lack thereof, has been a problem for the Rangers progressively over the last few seasons and was one of the bigger problems with the departure of Dylan McIlrath.
The defender was overlooked for his defensive capabilities and was used more in a “tough guy” role.
Fans should remember the dirty hit Radko Gudas dished out on Jimmy Vesey during the preseason. Fans should also remember how McIlrath went in on a mission to pull Gudas from the pile and let him know not to do that again.
While it wasn’t much of a fight, it was a sign that there was a player on the ice willing to protect his teammates.
It seems that the NHL is trying to stray away from seeing this behavior, however.
Since the 2008-09 season, fighting numbers have been decreasing every year, according to HockeyFights. It is clear that the game has changed with regard to fighting. It’s more about skill now, which is wonderful to see.
However, even with the game starting to change, there still needs to be authority out on the ice to keep the tempo.
This is the exact reason why the Rangers need someone, anyone, to just be on the ice and simply send a message.
If they could possibly make a deal for a player who can be stand up for his team as well as show a little finesse, then the Rangers should be all for it. Who knows, maybe the time down in the AHL did Glass some good.
The following is true, though:
If the Rangers do not get tough soon there is going to be a lot of vital players to the team’s offense getting hurt, and no one will respond. The team’s response is critical, and if no one is willing to do it, then there is a major problem that needs to be resolved as soon as possible.
There are players on the team who can take a punch, as well as give them, but it’s not their role. The Rangers need someone to simply play low minutes and let other teams know that if they mess with the wrong player, so goodbye.