In today's final exhibition game before the World Junior Tournament begins, Team USA fell by a score of 5-1 behind three power play goals by Finland in the third period. Ranger prospect JT Miller was the top line center after sitting Thursday's game vs. Sweden. Chris Peters from the United States of Hockey had this not so encouraging report on JT Miller's performance...
Miller really struggled today and it was quite a surprise. He had a rough go in the faceoff circle and didn’t generate much of anything offensively. Miller showed some flashes of his physical game, but the lack of offense was a bit concerning. He’s the strong candidate to be the U.S. captain, but today’s game was forgettable.
Chris Peters goes on to add Rangers 2012 first round selection Brady Skjei was a healthy scratch and likely to head home, but after today's performance, US coaches maybe second guessing players who were supposed to stick, possibly enabling Skjei a spot on the team.
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I watched the game and to be blunt, the entire US team looked lost. If I am the Rangers then I am very unhappy seeing Miller centering Grimaldi and Gaudreau. Miller needs physical players not smurfs to be effective. I would have reunited Miller with Tyler Biggs and shifted Miller to wing not center. I too thought that Skjei was going to be cut but now I think it would be a mistake. Skjei is the ideal partner for Seth Jones as they were partners at the Under-18 and all last season at USANTDP
Might be a case of the jitters. Or placing too much pressure on himself. Lets see if he can slow the game down and play to his strengths.
Very surprising to see Miller's struggles today considering how well he'd been playing with Whale. Could have been a letdown now that he's playing with guys his own age again. He needs to remember despite the younger ages, most of the players in this tournament are as good if not better than those in the AHL.
@TheProspectpark Thanks for the insight Jess. Miller is far from being a first line, playmaking center.