‘That’s leadership’: Boudreau says J.T. Miller helped spark Canucks’ comeback against Caps with closed-door talk in second intermission
Photo credit:Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
By Mike Gould1 year ago
The Vancouver Canucks may not have been able to defeat the Washington Capitals last night, but they sure gave it one heck of a try — and J.T. Miller was at the forefront of their late rally.
The 28-year-old forward racked up a pair of primary assists early in the third period on Friday, setting up @Quinn Hughes’ goal to bring the Canucks within one before feeding @Bo Horvat in the slot for his second of two tallies in the final frame.
The Canucks’ strong push early in the third period came after Miller reportedly took the charge to motivate his teammates in the locker room during the second intermission.
After the game, Canucks head coach Bruce Boudreau said one of his team’s captains insisted he not come into the dressing room between the second and third period to allow the players an opportunity to discuss how they needed to be better in the final 20 minutes.
Canucks defenceman @Luke Schenn later identified that player as Miller.
“I gotta give credit to Millsy. He stepped up,” Schenn said on the Sportsnet 650 Canucks Central post-game show. “Millsy kind of gave it to us a little bit and woke the guys up and, you know, guys responded.
“He’s leading on the ice, he’s leading off the ice, and he played great,” Schenn added. “Obviously, Bo was huge for us in the third period, too. That’s what leaders do.”
The Canucks mounted a huge rally after coming out of the second intermission, coming back from a 2–0 deficit to take a 3–2 lead. @Evgeny Kuznetsov ultimately forced overtime late in the third before @Lars Eller won the game in the extra frame, but the Canucks still managed to steal one point on a night where they very easily could have come away with zero.
“I noticed after the game, it’s good — we’re building something where it’s unacceptable to lose,” Quinn Hughes said after the game. The 22-year-old defenceman contributed to all three Canucks goals on Friday.
Vancouver now sits just three points back of the Vegas Golden Knights (with one game in hand) in the Pacific Division playoff race. The Canucks will return to action on Mar. 13 when they take on the Tampa Bay Lightning at Rogers Arena.
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