In a move that likely surprised no one, JT Miller was re-assigned to the Hartford Wolfpack this morning.
The 20-year old Miller, who had a goal and an assist in 15 games this season, was a healthy scratch the last four games.
Here's Alain Vigneault on why Miller was sent back to Hartford (via Daily News)...
“You always wonder where a guy can fit in,” Vigneault said. “Can he fit in your top-six or top-nine or your bottom-six? And with J.T., I haven’t figured out yet what exactly he is. Is a top-six forward? Is he a top-nine or is he a third- or fourth-line player? He’s a young player who has a tremendous amount of upside. How that is going to unfold and how that is going to develop, we’re not quite sure. I am sure about one thing, though: You can’t develop if you don’t play.”
Vigneault added that Pyatt is ready to return to play.
...Yay, Pyatt's back!!!!!!
...while I'd much rather see Miller getting 12-15 minutes a night on the third line in the NHL than 20 minutes in the AHL, it obviously doesn't look like AV is comfortable with that option as he'll continue his trend of relying on veterans, despite the fact that neither Pyatt nor Pouliot bring anything useful to the table.
Meanwhile, in an effort to jump start the now dormant power play, AV replaced Derek Stepan on the top power play unit with Dan Girardi.
Stepan was moved to the second unit which also included Kreider, Brassard, Zuccarello, Del Zotto and John Moore.
...because putting Girardi on the power play is going to help the Rangers score goals.
...baffling that Stralman, who has been the Rangers second best offensive threat on the blueline, somehow can't crack this anemic power play.
Pat Leonard at the Daily News reports these lines, which are not set in stone for tomorrow night...
...seven goals in six games and no wholesale changes? How long is AV going to let this dry spell continue?
...wondering when AV is finally going to try the Kreider-Step-Nash line we've all been drooling about. He has to find a way to jump start his top scorers.
...and for those of you asking for Kristo. The Wolfpack have been shutout in four of their last five games, so I'm not so sure he's the answer right now.
AV confirms that Henrik Lundqvist will start tomorrow against the Panthers.
...and by doing so avoids an impending goaltending controversy shitstorm. It's also the right decision.
..i hate to say this in November, but tomorrow is a big game for Lundqvist. He has been inconsistent at best this season, so he needs to start turning things around immediately. I've already sensed that the Rangers fan base is beginning to turn on him a bit, so if he wants to get them back in his corner before the Rangers return home he needs to start putting forth a better effort. If he thought the Bronx cheer the other night was bad, I can't imagine what the response will be if he let's in a few more cheapies on this road trip.
Brian Leetch was the last D-man to effectively QB the PP on this team. Management has had almost 10 years to find a productive, PP QB with a hard accurate shot and above average passing skills. We are still waiting. How Sather has survived this long is mind boggling! I dont think any GM in any sport in the past 40-50 years has kept his job after 13 years of not producing a winner (at least I cant think of one) and personally I've had enough of him and his staff....
You gotta wonder? Strahlman's better skilled then Girardi in every aspect of the power play that exists. No???.
Love Danny boy but he is precisely the 6th most offensively skilled Rangers defenseman. He's never been effective on the PP. I bet he can't even figure out what's he's doing there. When the Rangers signed Stralman he was considered a PP specialist. Absurd that he's not getting a shot when playing well.
Hank will be in his game but if AV had any balls he'd start Cam. So glad Pyatt is back because he can help them, umm he can help them.... look slower
is lundqvist really the problem or is he not getting the support he should? all great goaltenders always have great defense in front of them and good offense on the other side of the ice, do the rangers really have either right now? so even if it wasnt henry in net, would any goaltender (i.e. quick, loungo, smith, or brodeur in his prime) look good?
They both suck and should not be on this team,keep miller up and bring up kristo and send both of them down instead Pyatt and pouliot got to go same with sather and dolan they must go to
Also Talbot is playing Friday against the Bruins.. interesting call. Guess he really wants to beat the canucks on Saturday
"Replacing Stepan with Girardi" hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahah
Not only should Girardi not be on the PP, he should be in the press box for Falk, the guy has been an absolute shell of himself, and yet again relies on Mcdonagh to play decent hockey.
How about put Kreider back up there... when the PP was actually working he was the answer
I understand the desire to put Kreider in front of the net based on size and strength, but he's one of the quickest shooters on the team. He should be ripping shots from the wing. Put Cally and Boyle in front.
I don't understand why Miller can't get at least top 9 minutes if not top 6. Its not like these guys are filling the nets.
Stralman makes too much sense to be on the PP. Same goes for Staal. In my opinion the 2 best offensive d-men on the roster.
You're finally coming around Kevin! I've been saying for years that Stralman deserves a chance on the PP. Makes strong pinches from the point, finds a way to keep the puck in the zone, and manages to get his shots through much better than G who loves to just bank it off the boards (which works about 1 out of 200 tries).
Not to mention Stralman had a 34 point year out of Columbus (6 Gs, 28 As) in 2009-2010 where he played PP minutes with Nash.
Stralman's been our most consistent D outside McD the past few years. He deserves a shot.
I am shocked pylon isn't on the top line and pp... Hopefully hank and the team take this loss as a learning experience and try to do the things that made them start to look dangerous a few games ago! There are a lot of guys with something to prove now and many are playing themselves out of big $$$ if not off the team! AV is confusing to the fans but clearly is paid to know more than us. Our disdain for pylon and delzaster aside the maddeningly inconsistent play across the board has to get better. We have decent talent, but for some reason can't seem to put it all together. Have faith - the team will come around and be a contender, or at least a good spoiler this year. LGR!!!
Yeah, it's strange. In trying to sort out my Lundqvist feelings I took the temperature of the Ranger fans I know and I was very interested to see fans not fully enthralled in their love affair with Hank. Part has to do with his lack of contract. I think a lot of us feel on the edge with Hank because why back him through thick and thin if he doesn't want to stay with the Rangers. I think the second a contract gets signed, the fan base starts to back him whole heartedly again. It's not that he doesn't deserve a mountain of cash and in my opinion he should get max contract, it's that it's clear he's looking at this as business first, heart second, and if nothing is done by trade deadline I think he's gone. The uncertainty of his future here makes everyone uncomfortable.. throw in his sub-par play and it's easy to make him an enemy.
@PharmerBern I agree with this assessment. Girardi is not going to scare anyone manning the point on the PP> Stralman deserves to be there. Some of the moves AV makes are really puzzling. Pouliout and Pyatt are absolutely useless. This team needs grit. When your 2 biggest players (Boyle and Pyatt) play like powder puff girls we are in big trouble. Not sure what AV see in any of the 3.
@mlsranger The goals he allows are definitely magnified because of the Rangers lack of scoring.
@weregnalose i often wonder the same thing
@KreiderisTheChosenOne Very interesting call. Minus last years playoffs, Hank has a pretty good track record against Boston. Wonder if AV will get a call from Bettman on that. All the promotional videos have been shot and edited.
Not to mention if he wanted to beat Vancouver, isnt his better bet Talbot at this point?
@KreiderisTheChosenOne I don't even understand the sentence. Don't McD and Richards play the point? So Girardi is going to play the half-boards?
Could certainly use a little more skill on the 2nd unit though if Step drops. That group is just a waste of the half of each PP.
@johnnyb3910 Boyle is "softer than baby shit" (saw someone on this blog use that line before.. thought that it was hilarious!). He would get raped in front of the net.
Not to mention he's got a nasty old school hip check lol not that that helps on the PP but he gets my vote
Also, he's a right handed shot on a PP overloaded with Lefties. Probably why they are looking at Girardi (also a Righty)
@SA24 Doesn't help when his backup is basically outplaying him.
@Kevin DeLury @mlsranger its extremely hard to critique goaltending and almost unfair. i feel like the goalie is always getting blamed and if hank lets in a few all eyes are on him, meanwhile a player can make multiple mistakes in a game that get overlooked, but a goalie that makes a mistake equals a goal, and everyone focuses in on that. With that being said i think id like to see hank make a few of the saves he let in.
@Iron Mike Stralman is the most solid hitter on the Rangers D. Very, very underrated D-man.