(Dominic Moore in front of the Islanders net on Thursday night – @NYRangers)
In order to win Stanley Cups you must be built to win them. There is no question the last two years the New York Rangers have been primed to go a get one. You look at teams that have won though and they all have a solid four-line rotation that helps them win. In order for your team to win the Cup you have to have a consistent 12 forwards who game in and game out give you the best chance to win.
For the last two months, the Rangers fourth line that consists of Tanner Glass, Dominic Moore and Viktor Stalberg has been the best line. Yes the Rangers have numerous 20-goal scorers but the line that always seems to be noticeable out on the ice and creating chances is that fourth line. It may not result in a goal all the time but they move the puck well, they win board battles and they create chances.
Not taking credit away from some of the talent the Rangers have had in the past of 4th lines but this team’s 4th line is one of the better lines they’ve had in the past. Not many fans have been a fan of Glass this season partly because they feel he has been given chances over guys like Oscar Lindberg, Kevin Hayes but the reality they need to face is he needs to be in the line-up. Part of the Rangers identity aside from their shut down defense at one point was also their battles along the boards.
Remember Sean Avery? Of course you do. A fan favorite because they loved the intensity he brought. If you actually looked past that he battle hard along the boards and kept the puck in the offensive zone and created chances. Glass brings the same impact. If you ask me Glass is slightly better than Avery when it comes to moving the puck. Many fans won’t see that because all they see is Glass taking a “stupid” penalty or giving the puck away. News flash it hasn’t happened as often as you think.
When talking to Glass after Thursday night’s defeat against the Islanders, he praised the work ethic of his line mates. “When you have a guy like [Vic] Stalberg who can carry the puck through the neutral zone and push north it gives Dom [Moore] and I a chance to set up a chance in front.” He spoke highly of Stalberg who has been a blessing for the Rangers this season and he too among many other Rangers that are playing for a contract for next season.
“I think what has been the key to our success is the fact we are predictable for each other and that we communicate with each other” Glass stated. And that is exactly what you need in every line not just the fourth. If the Rangers want to make any sort of run towards Lord Stanley’s Cup it has to start with the consistency of all 12 forwards on the ice. Depth is always key in a long season and if the Rangers want to be successful and capture the prize at the end they are going to need the fourth line to continue to produce the way it has been for the better part of two months.