Yesterday, in Team USA’s 2-1 loss to Russia, JT Miller had three shots on goal and won 10 faceoffs and lost 7.
Chris Peters, of the United States of Hockey, writes that yesterday was a frustrating game for Miller who looks like he is trying to do too much on the ice.
He adds that the expectations for Miller were very high in this tournament and right now he is falling short of them.
In terms of Miller’s play with his linemates Rocco Grimaldi and Johnny Gaudreau, Peters writes that something about them is out of sync and they seem to be taking too long to make decisions. He says “There’s too much skill in that group to play as they have so far. There were probably about four total shifts where they looked like they’re supposed to.”
In Team USA’s 8-0 win over Germany today JT Miller scored the seventh goal with a pretty nifty move.
That goal appeared to trigger Miller as Chris Peters writes, at the United States of Hockey, that Miller wasn’t doing enough before then. Following the goal Miller used his speed, was more physical and was just more involved as the game went on.
Peters notes that his line as a whole, with Rocco Grimaldi and Johnny Gaudreau got better as the game went on along, but will need to do more as the tournament goes on. He writes “As these guys get more comfortable together, they should be more dangerous. Miller scored a nice goal and this group became a lot more threatening in the third period.”
11:28AM: Miller, who has an “A” on his jersey when Team USA wears white had the following stat line:
- 1 goal
- 9 wins/4 losses on faceoffs
- 2 shots on goal
- +1 rating
11:24AM: JT Miller scored the seventh goal for Team USA Today in their game against Germany.
- The sequence starts, 4 on 4, with Miller in the Germany zone taking a faceoff and winning it back to Seth Jones.
- Jones then passed it back to Miller by the far boards and then Miller passed it cross ice to the point where Jones took a pass and fired a slap shot that went off the glass.
- The puck found it’s way to Miler who brought it out to center ice so Team USA could regroup.
- Miller then brings the puck into the Germany zone before having it knocked off his stick at the top of the circles.
- He chases after the puck into the corner and then fires a backhand no-look pass towards the middle of the ice that is intercepted.
- The German player loses the puck/miscommunicates with a teammate and Miller scoops up the loose puck at the top of the circle.
- He then skates it in alone, makes a couple of moves in front of the goalie and tucks it under the goalies pad.
After the first half of his first pro season, JT Miller is an alternate captain for Team USA at the World Junior Championships.
On hoe he has progressed so far, Assistant GM/Hartford GM Jim Schoenfeld told Blueshirts United:
“JT is a very interesting player in our organization. He is kind of like a throwback; a good two-way player, but he is strong and hard on the puck. He sees the ice well, has a good shot and can make plays so we see him as someone who has the makings of being a complete hockey player. He wants to learn and he was telling me that he was starting to ‘get it.'” He is starting to understand his game, how it applies to the AHL level and how difficult it was to make the transition. You could almost see week by week as his play would incrementally was getting stronger and I would say over the last few weeks he has been our best forward.
Chris Peters writes at the United States of Hockey that Miller will need to have a big role for Team USA and create space for his linemates. Miller will also need to use his size and strength to be a force on the forecheck.
According to Kevin Allen of USA Today, Buffalo Sabres draft pick Jake McCabe will be the captain for Team USA at the World Junior Championships.
Allen says that JT Miller will be one of four alternate captains along with Seth Jones, Jacob Trouba and Cole Bardeau.
At the United States of Hockey, Chris Peters writes that during Team USA’s 5-1 loss to Finland today JT Miller had some struggles.
Peters said that it was surprise to see Miller struggle but he is still likely to be the captain for Team USA.
Miller struggled in the faceoff circle and didn’t create much offensively.
Peters classified the game as “forgettable” for Miller.
Former NHL All-Star Phil Housley is the coach for the United States World Juniors team and during the training camp that the team held at the Rangers practice facility in Westchester he praised 2011 first round pick JT Miller.
At Blueshirts United, Housley said “ Since JT has been here he really has put his foot down and extended himself in that leadership role which is great. It’s great to see JT lead by example. He competes out there, which is what we need from our leaders.
Bob McKenzie tweets that Miller is likely to play on the top line with Rocoo Grimaldi and Chris Kreider’s former BC teammate Johnny Gaudreau.
Peters also thinks that Miller will end up being the captain for Team USA