There isn’t quite as much on the line in the pre-season as there is during the regular season, but that doesn’t mean some on-ice battles can’t get heated. And in the pre-season tilt between the New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils, Tanner Glass nearly took it too far.
Late in the second period, the Rangers’ Glass delivered a whack to the legs of Jiri Tlusty as the Devils left winger skated through the neutral zone. The initial confrontation ended with Tlusty clutching the back of his legs, but he stayed on the ice long enough to pursue Glass before retaliating near the end of the shift. It’s there the situation almost got out of control.
Glass turned around and swung his stick wildly at Tlusty following his retaliation and then chased after him. With Tlusty in his sights, Glass dropped his gloves and delivered a punch to Tlusty’s head.
Glass and Tlusty were separated before a fight could start and the play ended with both receiving slashing minors and Glass an extra minor for roughing, but plays like this are exactly the type of thing the NHL doesn’t want to be seeing in a pre-season tilt. If Tlusty woulnd’t have been quick to protect himself, this could have ended poorly for both he and Glass.
That Glass attempts to fight Tlusty after this incident is taking things too far. That Glass tries to fight Tlusty when he hasn’t even dropped his gloves makes it even worse.
This incident likely isn’t enough to suspend Glass and Tlusty isn’t without his share of the blame for helping escalate the incident. That said, one has to think if this happens again the NHL is going to look at Glass’ actions closely, because they can’t have a noted pugilist flying off the handle after every confrontation.