Canucks Luke Schenn, JT Miller surprised by Lightning’s motivation to keep getting better

‘They have that ability to score goals, but they can defend teams better and that’s how championships are won’ — Schenn, former Bolts blueliner, on the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions

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Luke Schenn knows that the rings are always the thing because the National Hockey League playoffs are far from a spring fling.


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The Vancouver Canucks defenseman has championship gems from a pair of postseason activities with the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2020 and 2021, while teammate JT Miller took his game to another level with a franchise that always sets a high standard. performance.

The Lightning were the third seed in the Central Division last season and won it all by beating the surprising Montreal Canadiens in five games. In 2020, they outscored the Dallas Stars in six games.

And while it seemed like the Lightning could always attack offensively at will, they were swept by the upstart Columbus Blue Jackets in the first round of 2018, after capturing the Presidents’ Trophy, which proved to be the big wake-up call.

El Rayo had to learn to make things difficult. Grind it to kill the will of the opposition. Win close games.


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“They have an elite group of players and they’ll probably have four or five Hall of Famers and that doesn’t happen by accident,” Schenn said Wednesday after practice in preparation for facing the Bolts on Thursday.



Vancouver Canucks in Tampa Bay Lightning

4 p.m. (Pacific Time), Amalie Arena. TV: Pacific Sportsnet. Radio: sports net 650

“The most important thing I learned is to believe in the group and want to keep improving. It’s a rock-solid locker room and to have a track record like they’ve had over the last decade is pretty incredible.

“The biggest thing they changed to win a championship, after losing in the first round, is that they relied much more on skill. They have a big, strong, heavy D-core and that’s what they pride themselves on: being good in the corners and up front.”


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Miller made the most of a transitional 2018-19 season in Tampa Bay to hone his game.

He moved up and down the lineup and was limited to 13 goals, often in the third row with Antony Cirelli and Alex Killorn. And despite playing three fewer minutes per night than the previous season, he posted career highs in power-play points (20) and assists (37).

All this knowing that the cap-challenged club needed to extend the 92-point restricted free agent Brayden Point and that he was expendable to Vancouver in a trade.

“That prepared me a lot,” Miller said. “Everyone in a very good team has a role. You learn to accept what you are asked to do and a good team plays the right way and gives itself a chance to win every game. Amazing team and organization and nothing but high praise from me. I really enjoyed it.”

OVERTIME – The Canucks announced Wednesday that defenseman Ashton Sautner has been placed on the league’s COVID-19 protocol list.

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