Last season, Tanner Glass watched most of the Penguins' second-round series against the Rangers from a press box or on television as he was a healthy scratch for five of the series' seven games.
When Game 1 of this season's re-match in the first round begins tonight, he'll be watching the Penguins again but from his end of the ice.
Cut loose by the Penguins last offseason as a free agent, Glass joined the Rangers as a free agent when he signed a three-year contract which reunited him with head coach Alain Vigneault, a man he played for with the Canucks.
Glass, 31, appeared in 66 games this season and recorded six points (one goal, five assists) while leading the team with 98 penalty minutes. He is expected to line up on the Rangers' fourth line tonight along with former Penguins Dominic Moore and right winger Jesper Fast.
After today's morning skate at Madison Square Garden, he held court with the media:
What is your feel for the series?
"I think it's going to be a good series. Both very good team. It's funny, [we] finish first overall in the league and you get the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first round. It's not how you draw it up but I think it's going to be a great series. Both teams have a lot of firepower and can skate well."
What are the Rangers' strengths?
"I think it's our team speed overall, both going on the offense and coming back [on defense]. We pride ourselves on being a quick transition team and then also [being a team] that pushes really hard from behind and kind of forces the rush into our [defense] and our [defense] staying up and playing good gap. That's kind of our [modus operandi].”
Comparing Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist and Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury.
"Both goalies are world class goalies. I've seen both guys bail me out on numerous occasions so I know how each one of them can steal a game or steal a series for you."
What's different for this Penguins team compared to last season's team?
"I think they're pretty different. You look at the [defensive] corp., not a lot of familiar names for me. I think that's one of the biggest differences. It's a pretty different make up. I think not only [trading former left winger] James Neal makes a different look for those guys. He's such a big shooter and he plays more of a slow-it-down game. You've got [right winger Patric] Hornqvist in in there. He's a kind of a go-to-the net guy. And [left winger David] Perron, he's got some bite to his game too. A little different look but the main parts are still there."
Are you surprised they struggled to get into the playoffs?
"Just knowing the kind of guys they have in that room and the veteran leadership and guys who have been through the [battles] before, you never expect them to have struggles like that. But all you've got to do is get in. Knowing the kind of guys the have in [their dressing room], I'm sure they'll be chomping at the bit."
Even if you're a top seed, success in the postseason is hardly guaranteed.
"It's tough. I've come within one game of it in the past [with the Canucks in 2011]. We expect to have a long run here and expect to be good but it starts with Game 1 and you can't look beyond that."
You played for head coach Alain Vigneault in Vancouver. Why do you seem to have your greatest success under him?
"He likes to play a fast game and a good transition game. I think he respects my game, being physical and hounding other team's [defense] and good players. I don't know. I just like the way he does things. I think he's got a saying, 'There's a right way to play.' I think he's got it figured out that it really is the right way."
It's a cliched question, but is there any extra motivation for you against this opponent?
"Not really. No, I just want to win."
With injuries on the Penguins' defense, Paul Martin figures to log a lot of ice time. How much do you have to target him?
"That's one of the things I said in the [scouting meeting] was we got to be tough on this guys. He's a good player. He's going to play a lot of minutes. And he's someone we've got to slow down. He can move the puck as well as anyone in this league. He's a very underrated player. He's one of the top [defenseman] in the league. He's a very important player in this series."
(Photo: Abelimages/Getty Images)