Miller Sent to Hartford; Girardi Replaces Stepan on 1st PP Unit; Lundqvist Starts Again

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…

Hagelin-Richards-Nash
Kreider-Stepan-Zuccarello
Pouliot-Brassard-Callahan
Boyle-D. Moore-Dorsett

…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.

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Kevin

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