On ESPN Radio, John Tortorella spoke about how the Rangers trade today and addition of depth impacts the young players such as Chris Kreider and JT Miller.
Tortorella said that the trade gives the team some depth and, “it allows us to put our kids where they should be and have them develop the proper way and not in this mess.”
5:29PM: The team has officially sent Kreider and Fast to the Whale. Press release is below
4:51PM: Andrew Gross notes on twitter that the Rangers have said Miller won’t be in the lineup tonight.
4:25PM:According to the AHL Transaction wire, the Rangers have recalled JT Miller from Hartford.
Chris Kreider is still in Hartford.
Miller and Kreider were sent down, though not confirmed by the team, this morning.
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12:51PM: Leslie Treff notes that Kreider, Miller and Jesper Fast will all be with the Whale shortly.
12:49PM: John Shannon tweets that nothing should be read into the Rangers sending Kreider and Miller down to Hartford. He notes that the team is concerned with their development.
12:20PM: Katie Strang notes that both Miller and Kreider have been sent down.
John Tortorella spoke about how he wasn’t sure he could play Kreider and Miller in all the close games down the stretch.
Adam Rotter: This was expected and just because they were sent to Hartford today, doesn’t mean that one or both could be back next week. The fact is, Kreider and Miller need to play a lot and the Rangers are in a position right now where they can’t/don’t want to live with the mistakes that they may make. Having them on the fourth line or benched does nothing for anyone. This team is trying to make the playoffs and in the eyes of John Tortorella, right now the negative is outweighing the positive in their game.
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Lasts night, for the first time since 2/21, JT Miller played under 10 minutes in a game. He played a season low 7:08, was a minus two, and last stepped on the ice at 14:04 of the second period.
Chris Kreider, who started the game on the fourth line, played a season low 3:23 and last saw the ice at 7:22 of the second period.
On the post game show, John Tortorella said that he is starting to worry about Kreider and Miller and what kind of role they can play with the Rangers constantly in tight games.
Tortorella said “quite honestly, I am worried about the two kids. I am not upset with them, I just think that the stakes are high and I just have to watch how they go through the game.”
He then said that he wasn’t sure what the next step would be but that he doesn’t want to mess with their development.
On MSG, Dave Maloney and Brian Leetch said that with everything so magnified in the shortened season, the Rangers don’t have the time to allow Kreider and Miller to make mistakes and learn from them, especially at this stage of the season.
The NY Post says that Kreider and Miller are still considered to be untouchable in the organization.
Tortorella has spoken about the struggles he faces sometimes to find ice time for the young players.
Adam Rotter: I don’t see anything wrong with sending Miller and Kreider down to Hartford and it should be done today if John Tortorella isn’t sure he can trust them enough. The primary objective right now is to make the playoffs and it seems that while Kreider and Miller can help the Rangers do that, Tortorella thinks that the negatives in their game could outweigh the positives. Mats Zuccarello took Kreider’s spot in the top six and if Kreider is going to be on the fourth line, he should be in Hartford and playing big minutes. Same with Miller, who could allow Arron Asham to come back into the lineup and maybe ease some of John Tortorella’s fears.
According to Andrew Gross at Ranger Rants, JT Miller is dealing with a left wrist issue that occurred during Thursday’s loss to the Panthers.
Miller had an X-Ray on his wrist that was negative.
He is considered day to day and will take tomorrow’s morning skate to see how he feels and if he can shoot the puck.
Miller told Gross that he left the ice at practice today because his wrist was bothering him when he tried to shoot or pass the puck
The issue is apparently something that Brian Leetch used to deal with, where the tendons in his upper left forearm have become loose.
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).