Glass Learning The Ropes Of Pro Hockey

By Michael Sharp
Staff Writer
Press & Sun-Bulletin

BINGHAMTON, N.Y. – Kelly Guard is set to start again in goal on Wednesday for Binghamton, meaning fellow rookie Jeff Glass will start the game from the backup goalie’s chair for the third time since being recalled last Tuesday from Charlotte of the ECHL.

Guard began his professional career a year ago with Charlotte and was 12-11-2 with a goals against of 3.06 and a save percentage of .906 in 26 regular season games.

Still, Ottawa Senators goaltending coach Ron Low has seen enough in practice this week to give an updated review on Glass — a third-round draft pick by the Senators in 2004 and an All-Star this season in the ECHL.

“He’s really young,” Low said of the 20-year-old Glass. “You can see that at certain times out there, he looks like a young goaltender. And he’s got to improve on about three things. And if he does it, he’s going to have a chance to play in the NHL. A lot of his physical abilities are amazing.”

In particular, Low said the 6-foot-2, 185-pound Glass does well moving side to side, and reading the play. But Low said he’d like to see Glass stay on his feet more, and the coach noted that Glass can be overpowered on shots “off the walls.”

Asked if there is a timetable for Glass’ development, Low said: “When you’re looking at somebody who’s 20 years old, you’re looking at him at 23 or 24 to be able to play (in the) National Hockey League. So that puts him in the situation where, if he has to spend a bit more time in the ECHL, so be it. I would think he’d like to be able to play at the American League level next year.”Glass talked last week about his return to the B-Sens and his first professional season. He said his confidence and his numbers shot up after playing five games with the team earlier this season.

“It’s been a learning curve just like everyone said,” he said. “And I think sometimes you see the big picture, and you forget about the small things and all the hard work it takes to get there. And you learn that as your first year pro.

“I’ve been up and down this year a little bit and I’m starting to learn the ropes a little bit of pro hockey,” he said. “And it’s a lot of fun, but it’s a lot of hard work, too.”