K’Andre Miller Putting it All Together at the Right Time for the Rangers

Eric Hartline/USA Today Sports

New York Rangers defenseman K’Andre Miller has always had a high ceiling. His big frame, smooth skating, and incredible reach complement a high (and still-developing) hockey IQ. But his path, not unusually or unexpectedly, has not been linear. There have been moments of jaw-dropping brilliance mixed with performances that left one wanting. Luckily for the New York Rangers, Miller seems to be firing on all cylinders so far in the 2024 playoffs.

After playing much of the regular season with Jacob Trouba on the Rangers’ second defensive pairing, Miller has had a new partner in the playoffs, Braden Schneider. The two, like the Miller-Trouba pairing in the regular season, draw the toughest defensive assignments at five-on-five and have acquitted themselves admirably. Interestingly, the consensus among the media who cover the team and fans on X before the playoffs was that coach Peter Laviolette was unlikely to pair Miller and Schneider together in the playoffs despite the two of them looking good during Trouba’s injury absence.

The focus after game two was his game-winning, shorthanded goal, a full display of his hockey IQ with the choice to follow the play despite being shorthanded. While burying that shot won the game on the scoreboard for the Rangers, his and Schneider’s work in the defensive zone has helped the Rangers jump out to a 2-0 lead in the seven-game series.

As play shifts to Washington, it will be interesting to see how the Washington Capitals use their last-change ability to protect their top players from having to go through the Miller-Schneider pairing. With Washington in need of a jumpstart for their offense, Coach Spencer Carbery may shy away from playing the Alex Ovechkin line against Miller-Schneider, perhaps choosing to send them out against Trouba and Eric Gustafsson instead. Regardless, Miller looks dialed in, and, once again, expectations are on the rise. As a key component of any lengthy Ranger playoff run, watching him put it all together at just the right time must give Peter Laviolette and the rest of the Rangers an additional boost of confidence.

In this week's episode, we have on guest HockeyStatMiner to discuss NYR's Salary cap situation, potential moves and more.How to support us and our sponsors:Columbia Sports ApparelESPN+ SubscriptionFanaticsDraft Kings – CODE ITRThanks for listening! Please rate and review our show on your favorite listening platform. Check out our partner's website at www.insidetherink.com for all your latest hockey news.
  1. Guest HockeyStatMiner
  2. Many Directions, One Goal
  3. A Heartbreaking End, Offseason Begins
  4. Game 5 Recap : Guest Joe Fortunato
  5. Game 4 Recap : Breakout Breakdown

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