If you ask any fan or observer if the Vancouver Canucks are buying in right now, they’d likely have a short and simple answer: no.
But when you ask a Canucks player themselves — or any hockey player on a struggling team for that matter — the answer is typically more upbeat and positive, even if it’s a bit of a white lie.
But tonight, J.T. Miller gave the most honest answer we’ve heard from a Canuck — and maybe anyone around the league — in recent memory.
After giving an answer in which he insisted that when everyone is buying in the Canucks are a difficult team to play against, Miller was asked a simple follow-up.
Reporter: "Is everyone buying in right now?"
JT Miller: "I don't know."
— Tim and Friends (@timandfriends) November 25, 2021
Miller’s answer — or lack thereof — to this question is extremely telling.
His silence and look on his face screams “I don’t know what you want me to say”
And really, what do we want him to say?
The Canucks are absolutely dreadful right now, and everyone is to blame. The roster construction had every analytical model predicting a playoff miss, and the performance on the ice has been even worse than expected.
It’s certainly not Miller’s fault that the team is this bad, even though he said recently that he feels he isn’t playing his best hockey and can still reach another gear.
The losses are mounting, and they’re coming in embarrassing fashion. The players can only do so much.
I don’t want to write the line “it’s time for change”, and that’s because the time for change is long overdue.
But instead of change or anything meaningful, Canucks fans have been subjected to the same subpar on-ice product while being fed the same message of hope that they’ve heard for far too long.
It’s just not good enough. The fans know it, and clearly, the players know it too.