Last night against Carolina, JT Miller played 14:41. It was the most amount of ice time he has had in the last four games.
John Tortorella said before the Rangers win over the Capitals, via the Daily News, that he is watching him very closely vecause he is fearful of screwing up Miller’s development.
Tortorella added that because Miller is a young kid he keeps “waiting for something to go wrong,” but it hasn’t yet and he is “growing as a player.”
Before the Rangers played in Pittsburgh, Tortorella said of Miller, via Ranger Rants, “we’re going to watch it very closely because we still think he needs to develop and we want to make sure we’re not always putting him in spots that’s going to hurt his development. He’s a real interesting one as we continue to try to influx our team with young kids.”
Following Miller’s goal in the shootout last night which clinched a Rangers victory, John Tortorella said that Miller has “some jam” and looks to make a play. He added that he walks a line with Miller in teaching him about situational play, but also allowing him to play.
On picking him for the shootout, Tortorella said “I was confident that he could make a play. It wasn’t a great move but you gotta give him credit for having the balls to hang on to it and put it in the net.:
When asked to describe Miller, Tortorella said “he is a confident kid. I’ll leave it at that.”
In general on Miller, Tortorella said, “since he started with us, you can see, and he has, sometimes he makes a difference the other way, but the reason why he is here is that he has done more good by trying to take control and do good things. I thought tonight was one of his better games because I think he has been trailing. We are keeping an eye on him because we aren’t going to screw him up. If it gets too ugly and it’s a struggle, he will go right back. Just like Chris, it’s too big an asset to screw around with. We want him to develop the proper way.”
Sabres coach Ron Rolston called Miller an “exceptional talent ” and added, “the sky’s the limit for him in what he can do and his ability. He skates, he’s extremely competitive. He can finish. He can make plays. He’ll sacrifice for his teammates. So I think in terms of a total package, that’s a home run, for me.”
Rolston coached Miller when he was with the US National Team.
With Brad Richards out of the lineup, JT Miller will center the Rangers second line for the second straight game.
- Miller played a career high 18:40 on Tuesday and was 50% on faceoffs.
- Against the Islanders, Miller played 17:56, had three shots, one hit, one blocked shot and was 6-1 on faceoffs.
Joe Micheletti said after the game against the Flyers, “I thought this might have been JT Miller’s best game. His poise with the puck, the way he made plays. He showed all kinds of poise.”
Joe repeatedly said last night that someone needs to check Miller’s birth certificate because he doesn’t look like a 19-year old on the ice and plays like a veteran.
John Tortorella said, “I think he is learning. I think he has played well. He has been hard on the puck. He wants to understand away from the puck. He knows that it gets him back on the ice. For a first whack at this and sticking as long as he has, it’s really encouraging.”
After yesterday’s game against the Islanders, Tortorella said of Miller “he is still a dummy sometimes, but he continues to try and make a difference. He has an aggressive mindset that we need to watch, but I would rather have it that way. That is a good sign for a kid.”
Tortorella said recently, that Miller still has a lot to learn and that the decision of whether Miller will stay will be up to how he plays. He added that Miller is “an interesting one” and likes how he presents and handles himself.
Miller told the Daily News recently that he doesn’t want to be a player who “blends in.” He wants to be a player that will make a difference.
He told the NY Post that he doesn’t want to skip any levels of “the process” and is only concerned with getting better in every game.
JT Miller has played eleven games with the Rangers and is averaging nearly 13 minutes per game.
The most Miller has played in a game is 16:15 and the least is 9:41. Miller has two goals, scored in his second game, and has two assists in the past four games. He has seven shots in the past two games and skated on Thursday with Marian Gaborik and Brian Boyle.
Before Thursday’s win over Tampa Bay, John Tortorella said “I think he has made more of a difference in the games. The thing that I liked about the last game is that I thought he was leveling off but he found another level and that is why he is here. He has done some pretty good things so he continues to play.”
On his game, Miller told the NY Post, “I’m up here for a reason. I just have to play hard every shift, not take anything for granted.”
Miller, while speaking with the Rangers website, said “I don’t want to be satisfied with myself, ever, in this league. I don’t want to be comfortable and settle in. My mindset is to never be satisfied and I think that for a little bit I was sitting back and wasn’t creating that much, so the last few games I have tried to shoot the puck, take some hits and forecheck.”
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The 2013 issue of The Hockey News Future Watch has been released and two Ranger prospects are ranked in the top 50.
Chris Kreider is ranked 20th and JT Miller is ranked 38th.
Tim Erixon, who was traded to Columbus in the Rick Nash trade, is ranked 61.
Last season, Erixon was ranked 17th, Kreider was ranked 23rd and Miller was ranked 29th.
As a team, the Rangers fell eight spots in the overall rankings from 15th to 23rd.
In the Daily News, Pat Leonard tracked down one of JT Miller’s old coaches and spoke with him about the way JT Miller plays and approaches the game of hockey.
Miller’s former coach, Chris Stern, says that Miller plays the exact same way if the score is tied, his team is winning or his team is losing.
Stern said that Miller’s passion was one of the things he liked the most about Miller and Gordie Clark, Rangers Director of Player Personnel, said that he wears his heart on his sleeve.
Last night against the Habs, Miller had one shot, three hits, was 2-0 on faceoffs and played a career high 16:15.
Miller had five shifts in the first (5:56), five in the second (5:30) and six in the third (4:49).
Against the Capitals on Sunday, JT Miller played his second highest amount of the season at 13:52.
Miller had 14 shifts, 5 in the first for 4:43, 5 in the second for 4:53 and four in the second for 4:16.
He was a minus one, took a penalty and had no shots on goal. Miller had two shots blocked, one that missed the net and one hit.
Over the weekend, when Miller was chosen to stay in the lineup over Chris Kreider, he told the Rangers website of what his plans for staying in the NHL, “I am just not trying to get too far ahead. It’s still day by day and shift by shift.”
He added, in response to a question about his struggles earlier in the week, “you gotta stay engaged and stay in the game no matter what. You can’t let a bad shift bring you down and when you get your chance you need to take advantage of it.”
With Chris Kreider being sent down to the Whale earlier today, it seems all but certain that JT Miller will play his sixth game on Sunday and start the first year of his entry-level contract.
Katie Strang writes at ESPN NY that the Rangers plan to evaluate Miller on a game by game basis and won’t be afraid to send him to Hartford even after his contract starts.
Last night against the Islanders, JT Miller played 9:41 but only had one shift in the third period and none in OT.
Miller played the wing, something he says he prefers to do, on a line with Taylor Pyatt and Brian Boyle and had one hit and one shot.
John Tortorella said that he moved Miller to the wing because he was struggling with the defensive coverage down low.
It was Miller’s fifth appearance this season and if he makes one more appearance the clock on his entry-level deal will start.
Last night on MSG, Joe Micheletti said that the Rangers do not care about having Miller’s contract start, “They don’t care about the decision. When it comes down to it is this, you play seven years or you get to age 27 and you become a UFA. They don’t care one way or the other. Their attitude is that if he can help the team they will keep him. Even if they send him down, he is more than likely to play six games this season so the burning the year doesn’t matter.”
Miller told The Record that he wants to stay with the Rangers and while he doesn’t need to be perfect on the ice, he needs to be “good.”
He told John Giannone that he has learned that he needs to keep his shifts short and make sure that when he is out on the ice he needs to make his shifts count.
Adam Rotter: During a normal 82 game season, the Rangers would keep both Miller and Chris Kreider with the team and shuffle them in and out and up and down the lineup. That doesn’t work this year and one of the two is going to be sent down. They provide different things, Miller is physical and works well down low while Kreider has more offensive upside and incredible speed, that both have a place on the third line.
It’s a tough call, but I think I would send Miller down to Hartford and keep Kreider with the Rangers. John Tortorella basically said that Kreider has been okay since returning from his ankle injury, but to potentially have three of the fastest players in the league, Marian Gaborik, Carl Hagelin and Chris Kreider, on three different lines, could really give the Rangers an advantage in getting to pucks and creating offense, or as Tortorella likes to say, “havoc” with their legs.
1:34PM: Kreider was sent down. Miller will remain with the Rangers for the time being.
After Rangers practice today, JT Miller spoke about how he played last night and his first struggles at the NHL level.
Miller told Ranger Rants that he doesn’t think he was at his best last night and that he needs to make simple plays, work harder and think less about what he is doing on the ice and spend more time reacting.
Miller had seven hits but said that he needs to do more than that and get pucks deep, “I’ve got to have more poise, be stronger on the boards against some of their big D. I probably turned it over a couple times more than I should have. I’ve just got to simplify things.”
John Tortorella said that the biggest thing for the Rangers is to constantly assess Miller and see where his strengths lie and where his weaknesses lie, “you can’t get too excited when things are going really well for a young kid, you can’t get too down on them either when there’s a struggle and there was a struggle last night. So we’ll just see how it settles and we’ll make our decision as we go forth here.”
Tortorella added, at ESPN NY, that some bumps are expected with such a young player and that “we think he’s going to be a really good player, we’re just not sure how quickly it’s going to come.
The Rangers decision on Miller won’t have anything to do with the fact that if he plays in six games this season the time on his contract would start.
Last night against the Bruins, JT Miller played 12:24 and had 7 hits, one giveaway and was 2 and 7 on faceoffs.
Miller’s hits came in the:
- First period against Dan Paille
- First period against Zdeno Chara, Nathan Horton, Dougie Hamilton (One Shift)
- Second period against Adam McQuaid
- Second period against Rich Peverly
- Third period against Johnny Boychuk
Miller’s ice time splits were:
- First period: six shifts, 5:21, 53 second average
- Second period: 4 shifts, 4 minutes, 60 second average
- Third period, five shifts, 3:03, 36 second average
There was around a seven minute stretch in the middle of the third period where Miller didn’t play.
At Rangers Report, Carp writes of Miller’s game against the Bruins “I thought it was a very tough first period for J.T. Miller. The teenager actually had a tough night in a tough place against a tough team. I thought he got better later in the game, though”
Pat Leonard writes in the Daily News that after some shifts where Miller had serious struggles and was a liability, the Rangers will need to consider what to do with him and that would include sending him down.
What Dave Maloney, John Tortorella, Billy Jaffe and Ken Daneyko Said About Miller Over The Weekend
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