‘We know what works’: JT Miller drawing from past experiences in Canucks’ Game 7 against Oilers

Photo credit:Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Lachlan Irvine
26 days ago
J.T. Miller is no stranger to a Game 7. Of his seven past trips to the playoffs, he’s played in four do-or-die games; two for the Rangers, one for the Lightning and one with the Canucks.
“You’re always taking in things in the playoffs,” Miller said Sunday. “It’s a fine line, seven games, anything could happen. I just think the one thing you expect is that us and the Oilers are going to bring good efforts, and they’re normally very hard fought games.”
For Miller’s side to even be in this position is impressive enough. Last season, the Canucks finished twelve points out of a playoff spot. This year, they’re Pacific Division champions and preparing to fight for their lives without Miller’s linemate Brock Boeser, whose season has likely come to an end due to blood clots found in his leg after Game 6.
For one night, they have a chance to pull off an upset against the best player in the world and his Edmonton Oilers.
“The good thing about game seven is it’s one game, right? So I think we just have to put all of our energy and focus on that game.”
The Canucks had a chance to close out the Oilers in Game 6, but ended up turning in their worst performance of the postseason in a 5-1 defeat. But now they get another shot in front of their own raucous Rogers Arena crowd, the first Game 7 in Vancouver since a fateful June day in 2011.
“Obviously there’s things we can learn from [Saturday] that weren’t good. But we know what works against these guys, too,” Miller said. “And you gotta expect everyone to bring their best effort on both sides.”
“We respond well after we don’t bring our A-game. So we expect the same as a group and as part of the culture in here and standard. So that’s what we’re looking forward to.”
The Canucks have figured out a ton about themselves over the last month. Vancouver has relied on winning games the hard way against the Nashville Predators and Edmonton Oilers, making the most of their low shot totals and winning with defensive efforts. But that strategy has bit them in a few games, requiring late game comebacks to secure victory.
“We’re not a high volume shot team. I think we’ve learned that in general, so it’s not a huge panic for us. I just think when we’re on our game, we get more looks and we shoot the puck. It’s not like we’re going to look to cross the blue line and start shooting every single puck on net,” Miller said.
With one chance for the Canucks to keep their season alive, Miller is expecting the absolute best efforts of the season from himself and his teammates.
“It’s gonna be hard, and I think that’s the fun part of it. But you got to embrace the hardness,” Miller said. “If you want an easy night, then you’re gonna struggle [Monday]. It’s pretty simple and you can’t hide in games like this. You’ve got to embrace it, and we’ve been talking about that all season long.”
“It’s an easy game to get up for.”

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