Rangers Recall: K’Andre Miller, and resiliency on full display in Vancouver
The New York Rangers faced their stiffest challenge to date on this 5-game roadshow through Canada on Saturday night in Vancouver. A see-saw battle highlighted by specials teams, clutch goaltending, and resiliency witnessed the Blueshirts top the Canucks 4-3 in overtime.
“It was good to show our resilience; you can say that we haven’t been tested to score in the third when we’ve had a lead, but we battled hard,” Adam Fox said afterwards. “It’s a team effort, and everyone’s contributing.”
Let’s recall some of the key takeaways from the Rangers’ latest win, this time over the Vancouver Canucks.
Rangers Recall: Key Takeaways vs Canucks
Blueshirts’ defenseman K’Andre Miller has had a relatively quiet start to this season after coming off a career-year registering 43 points in 79 games. However, in Vancouver, he made his presence known in a big way by hammering home the game-winning goal in overtime. While it was his first goal of the season, he has 4 helpers for a grand total of 5 points through 8 matches.
“It’s always good to get the first one out of the way,” Miller said. “We’re really starting to figure out our systems. It’s all coming into play, and we’re feeling real good about ourselves.”
The 23 year-old defender and the Rangers feel good sitting atop the Metropolitan Division with 12 points at 6-2-0. That’s 2 points better than the Carolina Hurricanes, who have played 9 games to the Rangers’ 8.
Miller was taken in the first round of the 2018 draft and has been on a steady climb ever since. He signed a nice two-year extension this summer for $3,872,000 and is headed for an even bigger increase when he becomes an RFA in the summer of 2025.
According to NHL Edge, Miller is one of the league faster skaters clocking in at 21.84 mph, putting him in the 76th percentile. He also has a fairly heavy shot, which was apparent on the onetime blast that gave the Rangers the victory over Vancouver.
“He’s been playing real well for us,” head coach Peter Laviolette remarked. “It was nice to see him get his first.”
Special Teams and Resiliency
Every NHL game has its own story and for the Rangers, that was resiliency in Vancouver. The team overcame a 2-1 third period deficit after a deflating shorthanded goal against, followed by a late game-tying tally to win in overtime.
“I like the fact that we stayed in and kept battling,” Laviolette said. “Even when it went back to 3-3, we got a couple of big saves and able to pull it out at the end. A good win on the road.”
The head coach is talking about Igor Shesterkin’s heroics in the third and OT period where he faced a barrage of high quality scoring chances against. In particular, a sequence during the extra session where he robbed Andrei Kuzmenko twice.
Regarding the Rangers special teams, they registered 3 power play goals Saturday against the Canucks, which now gives them 10 on the season, good for 3rd in the NHL. Their PP% of 34.5 ranks second.
As for the Rangers penalty kill, it’s very good at 82.1%. Although they currently rank 13th, no one expects 5 teams to continue operating at a 90% or better rate for an entire NHL season. To date, the Bruins (97.1), Stars (94.7), Lightning (94.7), Avalanche (93.1), and Flames (90.3) are performing off the charts.
New York looks to close out this 5-game road trip with an untarnished record on Monday versus the Winnipeg Jets.