After the Rangers had a rough time of it offensively in Game 4, Pat Leonard at the Daily News speculates that JT Miller might find himself in the Game 5 lineup when he arrives at MSG this morning.
Here’s Miller on possibly getting a chance…
“It would be awesome to get a chance to play in the playoffs, first of all. The Flyers play hard, they play fast, so if I got the chance, I’d have to play my game, go hard to the net, use my body, but most importantly make good decisions and be responsible.”
Leonard thinks Dan Carcillo would come out of the lineup if Alain Vigneault decides to go with Miller. Vigneault discussed the Carcillo effect after practice yesterday…
“(Carcillo’s) style is effective anywhere you play. It’s energy. You have to be smart with the energy and physicality and I think for the most part Dan has done that. He’s a player who understands his role and tries to do his best whenever he’s on the ice.”
…when Vigneault hinted at a possible lineup change after Game 2, I felt Miller would be the better option than Carcillo as he not only provides grit, but also a willingness to drive to the net. I was proved wrong as Carcillo was a catalyst for the Rangers Game 3 victory, but his Game 4 left a lot to be desired and if AV would rather the super pest play more conservative it makes little sense having him in the lineup.
…AV’s above comment regarding Carcillo has me thinking he’ll be right back in the lineup this afternoon, but if the Rangers head coach is looking to jump start the offense maybe a move to Miller isn’t so far fetched.
…the biggest worry Rangers fans had going into the postseason was whether the Bluehirts would be able to grind out victories when opponents stifled their speed game. Up until this point, the answer is they can’t, as they’ve failed to adjust to the Flyers defensive schemes by getting pucks deep and generating the forecheck. Miller’s style is perfect for that kind of game plan, so if Vigneault hopes to generate more physicality with the Flyers defenseman going with the rookie could be effective.
…Miller detractors point to his arrogance as a negative in his game, but I think that’s the kind of attitude this Rangers team is sorely lacking and should be welcoming with open arms as confidence always seems to be an issue. Carcillo offers that same brashness, so maybe having both in the line-up would work. Not sure who would sit. Hagelin? Dorsett?
…if Miller is inserted into the line-up, I wonder how AV’s “commitment” comments will affect his on-ice performance. Could we see a tentative Miller, who’s more worried about not making mistakes than making life difficult for the Flyers or would he be motivated by AV’s words? Not sure if we’ll get the chance to find out, but these questions must be going through AV’s mind while contemplating his lineup.