TAMPA, Fla. — When asked what he hopes to see from Tanner Glass, who was called up Sunday and inserted on the fourth line, Rangers coach Alain Vig neault got straight to the point: “When he has an opportunity to hit, he does. That’s what we expect from him.”
It didn’t take long for Glass to get involved Monday night. He and the Lightning’s Luke Witkowski dropped the gloves for a lengthy bout at 6:34 of the first period.
Glass, 33, who played 123 games for the Rangers in the previous two seasons, was motivated by another chance to play for them. “The goal is to win, not only to win each night, but to win a championship,” he said. “I’ve been close before and I look at this team, the guys in that locker room, and I see a team that could win it. Hopefully my style, my brand [of hockey], can help us get there.”
Glass, who played 57 AHL games this season, was concerned that he would not have another shot in the NHL. “More so this year than last,” he said. “I was down longer than last year; doubts creep in. You’ve got to still stay focused and positive. We’re very fortunate to play hockey for a living and this is the best league in the world, so I’m going to enjoy every minute I have here and play hard.”
Clendening not happy
Defenseman Adam Clendening, who played six games in a row, wasn’t pleased about being benched for Steven Kampfer.
“I’m not going to say I’m happy about it,” Clendening said. “Everyone wants to play, especially when you get an opportunity, as a guy that’s worked all year and waited my time. I understand where I am when everybody’s healthy; it’s always been pretty clear. Then when I get a chance to find a home and start getting a rhythm, one bad night for everybody and somebody’s got to take the fall.”
Clendening said he hoped the healthy scratch was “not a permanent thing . . . It’s pretty clear that [the call-ups are] a wake-up call for the team. You can’t sit 20 guys. I thought Brady [Skjei, his partner on defense] and I were really good for the past five or six games. As a whole, we weren’t at our best against Montreal. I think the stat line [he was a minus-3] looks worse than it actually was.”
Michael Grabner, the Rangers’ leading scorer with 26 goals, missed his third game with a sore hip and oblique muscle, but he skated hard in the morning. “It’s getting there,” said Grabner, who said an MRI was clear. “We’ll see how it feels and then [skate] tomorrow.’’