Instant Reaction: JT Miller and the Canucks selling hope in win over Senators

Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
David Quadrelli
1 year ago
Welcome back to Instant Reaction — the series here at CanucksArmy where we give you our instant reaction to the game, and ask our readers to do the same in the comments section below! The Stanchies by Wyatt Arndt will be posted later tonight.
Sure, playoffs are out of reach. Sure, a chance at drafting a generational talent is becoming less likely with each game the Canucks play. But at least the Canucks are putting together something resembling solid hockey. You can’t deny this team is playing well right now.
The only issue is, we’ve said that in many previous seasons with this team as well. They seem to have a habit of winning down the stretch after they’ve tanked their season and made playoffs next to impossible to achieve. So sure, the Canucks are selling hope, and this coaching bump appears to be at least a little bit more valid than the last one, you can’t blame anyone for being wary of buying into any sort of false hope.
But we’ve got a game to react to!
JT Miller has been great since Rick Tocchet took over behind the Canucks’ bench, and tonight felt like an exclamation point. Perhaps that’s because his performance came on a Hockey Night in Canada broadcast. It feels like just yesterday that Kevin Bieksa and Kelly Hrudey of the HNIC panel were ripping into Miller for his lackadaisical efforts.
But tonight, it was hard not to sing Miller’s praises. He was engaged in every area of the ice, read plays well, and quite frankly, Miller changed the course of the game tonight. He tallied a goal and an assist to give the Canucks a 2-0 lead early, and Miller and the Canucks never really took their foot off the gas pedal from there.
Andrei Kuzmenko continues to be a lethal force, and is showing no signs of stopping. Speaking of showing no signs of stopping…
The Canucks have now won four straight and are playing great hockey right now. It’s their longest win streak of the season, and they’ve been cleaning up the worst parts of their game. The penalty kill has been better, their goaltending has been better, their team defence has been better, and as you may have guessed, they’ve been better at keeping the puck out of their net than they have been at any point this season.
The Canucks’ schedule is a bit soft, they’ve got their start goaltender playing like himself again, and their top guns are playing some of the best hockey we’ve seen any of them play as members of the Canucks.
The Canucks are going to keep selling hope down the final stretch of the season. This certainly won’t be the last time we talk about it, so we’ll leave it at that for tonight.
What’s your instant reaction to tonight’s game? Let us know in the comments section below!

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