In New York Rangers lineup news, the club will be without K’Andre Miller for tonight’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs. The news came through today, simply citing personal reasons for the Rangers defenceman. This leaves a big hole to fill for the Rangers against a top Eastern Conference foe in the Leafs. The Leafs are currently holding down the third playoff position in the Atlantic Division with 33 points through 25 games, while the Rangers sit tied for first in the Eastern Conference with the Boston Bruins at 39 points in 26 games. At this point, there is no word on how long Miller will miss, or any specific details.
Rangers defenseman K’Andre Miller will not play tonight for personal reasons.
— Dan Rosen (@drosennhl) December 12, 2023
K’Andre Miller Makes News as He Will Miss for Personal Reasons
Statistically, K’Andre Miller is having an impactful 2023-24. In 26 games with the team, he has 12 points. He is logging a career-best 22:11 average time-on-ice. This is all the while being paired with bone-crushing hitting partner, Jacob Trouba. The pair have already compiled over 400 minutes together. Only five other d-pairs in the entire league can boast that, six if you include Josh Morrissey and Dylan DeMelo of the Winnipeg Jets at 399.6. Moreover, for Miller and Trouba, their xGoals% of 50.4 isn’t overly impressive but still gets the job done. Also, this is impressive if you consider that Miller anyway, has a dZS% at 54.7. Miller plays a physical game when needed, and is responsible with the puck. His ratio of 17 takeaways to just nine giveaways speaks to his reliability.
What Does This Mean for the Rangers?
One positive thing for the Rangers is that they are deep on defence. It will be difficult to replace Miller’s minutes, and his alignment playing alongside Trouba. However, the Rangers should be able to manage. The team is fortunate to not have any other missing defencemen from the lineup for tonight’s matchup. Zac Jones likely draws in the Blueshirts lineup as a replacement. Furthermore, with other top defencemen like Adam Fox, Ryan Lindgren, or Erik Gustafsson playing, the team can provide strong matchups. Playing against a team like the Leafs for tonight, and their potential quick-strike offence, they will need to have their head on a swivel.
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