J.T. Miller slayed his playoff dragon.
Tied with Elias Pettersson for first on the team in playoff scoring with 18 points, Miller came out guns blazing despite facing an apparent wrist injury early on. You can see him in this video with his left wrist taped up.
J.T. Miller set the tone early last night with his starting lineup read… 🔥 pic.twitter.com/vsfpPg7CrE
— Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) August 8, 2020
Before entering this postseason, Miller had three goals and 26 points in 61 games with the Rangers and Lightning; however, this time around, he was over a point per game and led the team with ten even-strength points. Even though he doesn’t wear a letter on his chest, Miller was an emotional leader reminiscent of Ryan Kesler.
“Miller’s playoff performance has helped ensure that the controversial trade that brought him to Vancouver will be forever seen as a big, ballsy bet that paid off for Canucks management.”-The Athletic
Miller vs Wild
With a goal, two assists and one fight, Miller brought it all during the series against the Minnesota Wild.
His Corsi number in the first series, as was similar for most of the team, was good. Sitting over 50% with 51.55%, Miller has become one of the best two-way players on the team, and it showed against the Wild.
Miller vs Blues
With seven points in six games against the Blues, Miller helped his team advance to the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Third among forwards in Corsi, Miller’s underlying numbers were admirable. Keep in mind, even though his Corsi numbers sat at 48.54%, Miller saw the opposition’s top paring dmen and defensive forwards, namely Ryan O’Reilly.
Despite the tough matchups versus the Blues, Miller won 53.5% in the face-off dot, while averaging 21:13 of ice, which was just behind Bo Horvat among forwards.
Up for any assignment handed to him by Green, Miller rose to the occasion in all three series. He was also tied for second in hits with 40 and second among forwards with 18 blocked shots over all three rounds.
Miller vs Knights
It was a tough series for most against the Vegas Golden Knights, but Miller didn’t back down.
J.T. Miller isn't going to drop the gloves with Reaves, but he didn't back down there giving him a good, high cross check.
— Thomas Drance (@ThomasDrance) September 2, 2020
Leading the team with eight points, in the series and the only forward with a plus rating and was all over the ice at both ends.
However, among forwards, Miller’s Corsi numbers were second last with 33.18% but no forward with 15 or more minutes had over 45%.
Once again, Miller was called upon in all situations, leading the forwards in average ice time of 20:28.
This was Miller’s coming out season, and he brought it during the postseason. He was used in every situation and despite playing through an injury didn’t let up. It’s safe to say Miller has but his playoff dragon to sleep.
This year, Miller’s efforts on and off the ice should see him be among the names wearing an A next season, which fits perfectly since his playoff performance grade from me is also an A.