By Ryan Murphy
Jeff Glass was the 89th overall pick in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft. The 21-year-old native of Calgary, Alberta, is one of five Binghamton Senators in Ottawa on the “black aces” squad, or emergency squad. I caught up with Jeff this afternoon and asked him about this experience.
Q: This is your first time as a member of the black aces. What has it been like practicing with the team as they make a run at the Stanley Cup?
A: It’s a lot of fun; you pick up a lot of little things while you are up here. I am just trying to soak up as much as I can while I am here.
Q: Do you think that the time spent on the black aces’ squad will give you a head start leading into next season? Working on different areas of your game?
A: Yes, absolutely. The biggest thing that I think it helps is confidence. I think this will help me going forward into next year.
Q: How does an emergency squad practice differ from a regular season practice?
A: Well the big difference is in the numbers. Since there are only three skaters and two goalies, you work on individual skills more than the team game. It is all about keeping your individual skills sharp in case someone gets hurt and you have to come in and play right away. So there are a lot of drills that we wouldn’t spend as much time on at a regular season practice.
Q: Why is the squad called black aces? Where did the term originate?
A: Good question…I’ve heard it called taxi squad, emergency squad and black aces. I really don’t know where the term comes from, it is just something we call it. You can call it any of those.
Q: Former Binghamton Senators netminder Ray Emery has taken his game to another level this season and into the playoffs, helping lead the Senators to the Eastern Conference Finals. As a fellow goalie, what have you noticed about Ray’s game that has sparked his dominating play between the pipes?
A: He’s simplified his style. He is technically sound. He has always been confident but he has proven that his technical skills can match-up with anyone in the league. I think that is the difference this season, everything came together for him.
Q: The Senators face off against the Buffalo Sabres in the Eastern Conference Finals. Ottawa in five, six or seven games?
A: That’s tough, Ottawa in five or six games. Give credit to Buffalo, they are a great team. They will be a tough match-up. It’s a going to be a great series either way, but I like Ottawa in six games.