J.T. Miller was held pointless as Team USA lost to host team Russia in their second game of the World Junior Championships today. The Americans are now 1-1-0 through two games.
Chris Peters at the United States of Hockey gives us the not so encouraging recap of Miller's game today...
"Today was a very frustrating game for Miller. It looks as though he may be trying to do a little too much. He made some very questionable decisions with the puck and had a hard time finding his linemates. Expectations for Miller as the lone returning forward and only player with pro experience are sky high. Falling short of them would be easy, and that’s what’s happening so far."
Peters adds that Miller's top line with Rocco Grimaldi and John Gaudreau has showed a lack of chemistry and some disjointedness.
...i liked Miller a lot better a week ago when he was on a roll playing for the Whale. In my opinion, Miller isn't a top line center. He's more of a grinder, who makes plays with his physical game. He is being used improperly. And to me that falls on Team USA head coach Housley for not knowing his players.
...i also think this tournament isn't suited for Miller's two-way game. The bigger ice rinks and faster action play to his weaknesses. To me he has the perfect hardworking, forechecking game for the NHL. So despite his struggles, I'm still very high on what he'll bring to the Rangers organization.
...having said that, I think we'll see the real Miller when the Americans take on Canada this Sunday in what should be a very physical affair.
...as far as the game goes, I thought the Americans played very well and could have easily won the game if it wasn't for the spectacular goaltending from Russia.
Here are video highlights of the game...
Kevin you actually had it right when you said Housley didn't know his players. When I saw that it was going to be Miller and 2 Smurfs I knew that was a huge mistake. Put Miller with someone like Biggs who plays the same brand of hockey and you will see results. I like Chris Peters as he is a good guy but he like so many others are very wrong about Miller. Just because he was the lone returning forward should not mean he is the team savior. But Kevin while you are right that Miller is not a 1st line center what you don't see is that Miller's game is better suited to be a right wing.
@TheProspectpark I can see that. He wasn't great on faceoffs for sure.
@KevinDeLury Watching him last season with Plymouth I was impressed by his ability to find a spot on the ice to set up for a one timer and be in motion to fire the shot as the puck gets there. He is also way strong than he looks and I don't think I would want to fight him. You are right on faceoffs but I am beginning to wonder if this is an issue for most North American prospects these days. With so much put on winning that I just don't see NA prospects being very strong on the fundamentals. It is why you see those from Sweden and Finland increasing in value because they do train a ton on the basic fundamentals.
I think that Russian goalie Makarov was spectacular(Probably their best they will ever have), he made a Lundqvist style jump save ! Other than that, I think Team USA was ok. Hope they will get their shit together against Canada !
@JoeNYR Markov is a very under rated goalie who Buffalo was smart enough to sign to a UFA contract. I have watched him for 3 years and he has the potential to be an NHL goalie
@JoeNYR USA, as a team, had no gas in the tank for the third period. After Russia's time out it was game over.
@JoeNYR They better or it will be tough for them to qualify for medal round.
@DenisPMtl Agreed. Not a knock on Miller either. He has a skill set perfect for second or third line center. Shouldn't be on top line.