Canucks Notebook: JT Miller shoots from the lip, thinks special teams may be on trend

‘I could show it differently, but I’m not the only guy. I really care about winning. If I show frustration, it’s not because I quit, it’s because I want to win and do the job better. ‘ – Canucks winger JT Miller.

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JT Miller is the barometer.

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If there is a storm on the horizon, or dark performance clouds continue to hover over the Vancouver Canucks, the passionate extreme will provide an accurate and detailed reading to gauge impact.

Nothing warm and fuzzy. Miller is not connected that way.

It’s not going to give a sunny forecast when the fighting special teams are similar to The Pineapple Express system that keeps coming into town, wave after wave of rain for days and weeks, due to a 1 out of 20 power outage on this heading. family home. in Sunday’s meeting with the Dallas Stars he can destroy a season if he persists.

A meager 14 percent accuracy to rank 25 in the NHL is a far cry from 24.2 percent and the fourth-ranked power game in 2019-20. And a dismal 66.78 penalty death rate to rank 29th, compared to ninth overall three seasons ago, is especially concerning for Miller.

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He has been deployed in the first power play unit and the first kill pair, and although he led the club in scoring after 11 games with a dozen points (3-9), he has yet to connect in the power play. .

Simply put, the Canucks won’t climb the Pacific Division rankings if they don’t remedy their special teams ailments.

“It’s kind of a mixed bag,” Miller said in his pregame speech. “I feel like I’m doing a lot of good things off the puck this year, but when you’re in the bottom half on both and they score and they don’t score on the power play, it’s frustrating.

“I could show it differently, but I’m not the only kid. I really care about winning. If I show frustration, it’s not because I quit, it’s because I want to win and do a better job. “

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At the game day skating on Sunday, Brock Boeser was placed at the front of the net in the first drive with Miller on the left wall, Bo Horvat on the bumper, Elias Pettersson on the right wall and Quinn Hughes on the lead.

The second unit had Tanner Pearson as the front of the net, Connor Garland on the left wall, Vasily Podkolzin on the bumper, Nils Hoglander on the right wall and Oliver Ekman-Larsson on the lead.

“You have to find a way to be confident, you are not going to find it all of a sudden,” Miller added. “It seems very easy to be confident, but all it takes is one or two things, and all of a sudden the floodgates open. And with not every scoring every time, he has a lot of energy towards the power play that we should treat as a 5-on-5.

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“You have to be assertive and get the discs back, win your battles and execute. We need to get a little boastful in our unit. We don’t want to sit around and say ‘here we go again’ if it doesn’t turn out the way we want. We have to learn to have fun with this again, and with that said, you have to work.

“We all feel dangerous where we are. I don’t care where I play. When I go downhill with a right hand (right) at the finish line and three left-handers to pass, we are very difficult to stop ”.

Canucks rookie Vasily Podkolzin celebrates his first career goal in the NHL on October 15 in Philadelphia.
Canucks rookie Vasily Podkolzin celebrates his first career goal in the NHL on October 15 in Philadelphia. Photo by Eric Hartline /USA TODAY Sports

POD PLAYS WITH POWER

Either it’s a sign of the times or he takes another look at an intriguing newbie.

Podkolzin has played timed minutes, first as a responsible fourth-line fixture and then a third-line staple, and now the Russian seems ready for another role in the second power pay unit.

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It will not be easy. Playing bumper-in-slot position is like negotiating multi-lane traffic at rush hour with someone always by your side or in the front or back to impede progress.

However, Podkolzin has already shown enough speed, intelligence and a strong release in his two goals to justify a semblance of power play.

“He’s a hard worker and has a great body,” Horvat said. “He definitely has skill and there is an art to being in the middle of knowing where to go and hitting the holes and he knows it.

“He has good players in that unit to find him and he probably has one of the hardest shots on the team. If they can take it, it will probably be on the net. “

Podkolzin has done some damage even hard.

On Tuesday, he received a pass from Garland and dropped to one knee to fire a quick high wrist shot to the short flank on New York Rangers goalkeeper Igor Shesterkin for the tie to force overtime in a win by 3-2. And on October 15 in Philadelphia, he took a speeding backhand from Tyler Myers and came off the sidelines for a wrist shot past Carter Hart’s glove during a 5-4 win.

“There are a lot of little nuances to a power game that maybe I haven’t done before, but the thing about Pods is you can tell he’s paying attention and wanting to improve,” Canucks coach Travis Green said.

OVERTIME: Luke schenn He did not take the Sunday morning skating and his status regarding possible injury was not disclosed. He assumed Tanner jeannot in a second period fight Friday in a 3-2 loss to the Nashville Predators. Brad hunt was aligned with Travis Hamonic in the third match on Sunday.

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