Archive for J.T. Miller
There’s a specific reason why I waited a little bit to address the comments Alain Vigneault made about J.T. Miller yesterday. First, there was a ton of over reaction from the majority of the fan base, and we wanted to let that subside. Second, I wanted to let the comments settle in before I addressed them. If you missed the comments, AV called out Miller’s work ethic and commitment:
“He just hasn’t earned the right to be at this level on a regular basis,” Vigneault said, hours before the Rangers-Avalanche match. “He needs to show more commitment on the ice and off. Until he does that, he hasn’t earned the right.”
“J.T. has to figure it out, and hopefully he will,” Vigneault said. “When he does, we’re going to have a good player. If he doesn’t, he will be a good minor league player.”
Let’s not sugar coat this, these words are a clear message to the former first round pick. You have to work hard on and off the ice to succeed at this level. It’s a lesson that all kids must learn. But that’s just it, a lesson.
The Rangers have returned forward J.T. Miller to the Hartford Wolf Pack of the AHL. Miller was called up after the injury to Chris Kreider, going scoreless in the first two games following his call up. Miller was a healthy scratch the previous two games before his return to Hartford.
The Rangers have recalled forward J.T. Miller to the NHL. Miller was almost called up on Monday as an emergency replacement, but this call up is for real, and will count as one of the four post-trade deadline call ups allowed for the club. Miller will –hopefully– slide into the top-nine, with Chris Kreider out at least a month with a hand injury. In 28 games with the Rangers, Miller has a line of 3-3-6, including a line of 1-1-2 in his most recent three game stint post-Olympics. In that stint, many (admittedly, myself included) believed Miller had taken that next step and that he was ready for The Show. This is his chance to prove it.
J.T. Miller was sent back to the Hartford Wolf Pack of the AHL today, likely to make room for the returning Mats Zuccarello. Miller was called up as an injury replacement for Zucc, notching a goal and an assist and averaging 12:30 in ice time in his three games.
I still can’t get used to Alain Vigneault’s steady line combinations after four years of John Tortorella’s incessant juggling, but Vigneault has stuck with the same combinations for quite some time now. It’s worth nothing that the Rangers finally turned a corner this season thanks in no small part to the team’s balance and chemistry up front. Mats Zuccarello has been the team’s best forward so far this season and a key cog in Vigneault’s formula, but with him lost for likely another week or two (not to mention the upcoming trade deadline), Vigneault will be forced to rejigger his preferred trios.
Throw in the fact that winger Derek Dorsett is ready to return from a broken fibula and 20-year-old J.T. Miller, who has been dominant in the AHL, was recalled last night, and it’s tough to predict what Vigneault will end up with. It’s probably most likely that Vigneault will be forced to try several different new looks – which might not be settled by the trade deadline in three games, throwing us back to square one.
The Rangers have recalled forward J.T. Miller from the AHL. This is Miller’s fourth stint with the team this season, and he has put together a line of 2-2-4 in 25 games at the NHL level. In the AHL, Miller is one of Hartford’s best players, putting together a line of 10-16-26 in 26 games, including 3-14-17 in his most recent stint.
The call up likely means that Derek Dorsett is not ready to return to the lineup from his broken leg.
Per friend of the blog Sean Hartnett (good follow for you on Twitter), the Rangers have returned forward J.T. Miller to the Hartford Wolf Pack of the AHL. Miller returning to the AHL is a product of the recently acquired Dan Carcillo’s strong play as a replacement for the injured Derek Dorsett.
Miller played very well in his recent call up, playing in nine games, registering a goal and an assist, and being more engaged in the play while improving on his three-zone game. Miller is best served getting big minutes in the AHL so that he can be a big contributor when he sticks full-time.
Like many parts of the 2013-2014 roster, the bottom-six forwards have struggled through long stretches of the season thus far. Part of that can be attributed to players being used out of place and in unusual situations, but the team hasn’t gotten consistent play out of many of its depth forwards for most of the year. That seems to be changing over the last few weeks, and has been as instrumental to the team’s mini turnaround as anything else.
Boyle will forever be a polarizing player amongst Ranger fans because he has hands of stone and doesn’t drive opponents through the boards with his massive size. You can’t really judge Boyle fairly until you accept those two facts of life, which many refuse to do. But Boyle is a very useful player in many other areas. Though this hasn’t been his finest year, Boyle is still being relied on as the team’s top defensive forward, plays well on the penalty kill, is the best faceoff man on the team and drives possession. He is guilty of being a passenger at times this season the same as nearly every player on the roster, but for the most part, Boyle has been use usual steady self. Still, scoring just one goal all year is pretty hard to do.
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With the holiday roster freeze approaching at midnight tonight, the Rangers made a trio of roster moves to set themselves up for the next week. They returned forward Arron Asham and defenseman Dylan McIlrath to the AHL. They also recalled forward J.T. Miller for the third time this season. Hopefully the third time is a charm for Miller and the Rangers, who desperately need some form of consistency in the lineup.
With the Rangers seemingly in a tail spin and with the injuries mounting it really isn’t time to panic no matter how bleak it may seem at present. That said, changes do need to be made.
The Rangers have an opportunity to insert the likes of JT Miller, Danny Kristo and Dylan McIlrath now and give them consistent ice time and at no real risk. All of the aforementioned cannot do worse than the likes of Benoit Pouliot, Taylor Pyatt and (this season at least) any combination of Falk, Del Zotto and John Moore. If all they achieve this season is to become role players – or even that they simply avoid being liabilities – then it’s almost already an upgrade and developmental time long term.
With the team generating little to no offense, inconsistent (at best) defense and with spaces to fill thanks to an injury list that could backfill a local hospital there is an opportunity to exploit. Alain Vigneault has bemoaned the lack of appropriate player types and perhaps that’s true but is that because he’s simply icing the wrong type or is it that he hasn’t got them within the entire organisation? It’s time to find out.
Barring a disaster of epic proportions, Vigneault has time on his side so it would surely benefit him to look at the prospects available. He’s not getting fired this season unless the Rangers go on a winless streak that would threaten riots in New York.