When you watch Cody Glass play, you aren’t often going to see highlight reel dangles, top-shelf shots, or flashes of skill that will wow you. Instead, you really have to watch closely to see the things Glass does best on the ice.
His positioning as a center is basically flawless. His ability to see the game at such a high-level has him making the correct pass most of the time. And the way he skates allows him to cover massive amounts of ice making him a spectacular defensive player.
You’ll hear announcers, analysts, and writers refer to these skills as “doing the little things,” mainly because instinctively they know he’s a solid player, but it’s easier to use a cliche than to actually point out a tiny piece of the game when there are 100 other things going on. This often leads to these skills get overlooked, especially the most minuscule of them. That’s why today, I’m here to illustrate something Cody Glass constantly does on the ice that creates turnovers, opens up space for himself and teammates, and frustrates the heck out of opponents along the way.
It’s a skill he mastered while picking on unknowing defensemen while playing in the WHL with the Portland Winterhawks, and it’s called the stick lift.
(Zooming in on your computer or phone makes these much easier to see.)
It’s kind of a force of habit. I don’t even notice it anymore so it’s cool that you guys are noticing it. -Glass
Just about every time Glass is near the puck and a defenseman at the same time, he’ll go to his trusty stick lift.
In the first clip he uses it in the neutral zone to break up a pass. The second one is in front of his own goal where he fights a guy’s stick up in the air to deny a tip chance. And the third one is in the offensive zone to help him regain possession of the puck.
These three are all small moments in a game that amounted to very little, but it doesn’t always work that way. Watch…
Goal 1 vs. San Jose
Goal 2 vs. San Jose
In both cases, without Glass’s stick lift, the Golden Knights don’t score. Glass remembered the second one vividly.
On that play I remember Smitty got behind the net and the D-man’s stick was on the ice and if I didn’t lift it the pass wasn’t coming to me. -Glass
It really is a tiny piece of the game, but when it’s deployed correctly it can make all the difference in any of the three zones. Forechecking or backchecking, you can look for Glass to have an active defensive stick and consistently hound his opponents’ sticks. Something Cody says he can’t stand when it happens to him.
Oh it’s super annoying. I think that’s probably the most frustrating part. I hate when when a guy’s backchecking me and I get a stick to the hands or having my stick lifted. I pick up on it when it happens to me so I know it’s going to frustrate someone else. -Glass
It’s even more frustrating for defensemen when it leads directly to goals. Which will probably happen a lot whenever Glass finally becomes a mainstay on the Golden Knights roster.