With Chandler Stephenson out and the Vegas Golden Knights needing someone to take the top-line position between Mark Stone and Max Pacioretty, now is the time to put the struggling Cody Glass in at first-line center.
Hear me out.
Back in training camp, Glass and Stephenson had all eyes on them after Paul Stastny was traded to the Winnipeg Jets, really putting the focus on the battle up the middle. There was a lot of hope that Glass would indeed make a major leap forward and become the player who could fill the first if not second-line center role.
It was quickly apparent in camp that Stephenson looked at home between Stone and Pacioretty, and he has been ensconced in that position ever since. Glass, meanwhile, struggled to find his game and didn’t challenge for the top spot. In fact, his struggles have continued throughout the regular season. Glass has yet to score an even-strength goal although he has scored all four of his goals on the power play.
To be clear, Glass does have value and is showing his potential when he pays the price in front of the net on the man advantage. But his struggles at five-on-five resulted in him heading to the Henderson Silver Knights for a bit. That stay has been shortened by the three-game suspension handed down to Stephenson.
With Cody Glass back in the lineup for the VGK, here’s why he should go right up top.
First, as a center Glass has a lot of responsibility in the two-way game. But in playing with Mark Stone who is one of the best two-way players in the game, the responsibility lessens for Glass. And if he does make a mistake, Stone will be able to help cover it up. In a way, it frees Glass to try and make an impact without being too concerned if he gets caught out of position.
Another is the production of both Pacioretty (VGK leading goal scorer) and Stone (VGK leading point producer). Those two generate so much on their own that putting glass up on the line with them might just pull him along offensively in their wake. If Glass can stay aggressive and get himself into some open looks, he has a great chance to get off the schnide.
Finally, by putting Cody Glass on that top line it expresses a belief that he can keep up with the top line when it comes to both speed and skill. For Glass, he could use a serious confidence boost and the Stone – Pacioretty combo could do exactly that for him.
Cody Glass is still young. He still has a lot of hockey left in front of him. And right now, getting him the ice time is the best way to see confidence and skill elevate.