It was a scene we’ve seen before in postgame scrums with Vancouver Canucks forward J.T. Miller, only this time it was more intense. Dude seemed a bit beside himself following the Canucks 3-0 home loss to the Minnesota Wild.
“It’s a big game, there’s no pointing fingers,” Miller stated, “I take it upon myself to be better, not because of the mistake, shit happens out there, just in a general sense I’ve got to be better for the team and lead by example, just as a whole rounded game.”
The ‘mistake’ he refers to was his blatant cross-ice turnover during the Canucks third consecutive power play in the 2nd half of the 2nd period with his team trailing 1-0. Wild forward Connor Dewar picked off the pass, skated in alone and ripped a shot past Vancouver goalie Spencer Martin to give the Wild what suddenly became an insurmountable lead.
“It’s a mistake,” Miller stated. “They scored on it. Obviously not good. We’d like to score, get momentum for the team. We didn’t. Big moment in the game.”
“You would think with three consecutive penalties, and them using the same guys (on the PK), as we would, we would have figured it out and scored a goal at that point. but we ended up giving it (up), and that was sort of a back-breaker, you could really see the wind go out of the sails of a lot of players,” Canucks head coach Bruce Boudreau said postgame.
The Canucks power play entered the game with confidence and positive expectations, with a success rate around 28%. The two groups had looks, they held zone possession, but couldn’t solve the shot blockers and goalie Filip Gustavsson, who ended up with his first NHL shut-out.
There were no power play opportunities for either team in the 3rd period.
“I don’t know what to say to you guys, I can just look in the mirror for myself and try to be better tomorrow at practice and go from there,” Miller said.
Miller had a nine-game point streak that ran through the November 29th game against the Washington Capitals. Since then he’s had two assists over his last five games.
Boudreau tried to find some chemistry and success by juggling the lines throughout the game against the Wild.
“Gets to the point where you’re playing with every player in the line-up, maybe you (I) should look in the mirror, I don’t know,” Miller concluded.