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Tocchet says J.T. Miller texted him to apologize for poor performance in Game 4 loss to Oilers

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Photo credit:Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Zach Laing
1 month ago
Rick Tocchet has always looked to keep his players accountable.
In fact, his ability as a coach to push players forward was a big reason why the Canucks hired him in the first place in January 2023.
And what a coach like that does it help draw out accountability from his players, something that happened on Wednesday, Tocchet said, when Canucks centre J.T. Miller texted him apologizing for his performance in Game 4.
Miller, who played 19 minutes, went 5/14 in the faceoff circle and couldn’t make a play on Evan Bouchard’s game-winning goal with 38 seconds left on the clock.
“It’s an honest group,” said Tocchet. “I mean, J.T. Miller texted me today, ‘sorry, I had a bad (game).’
“This guy’s been unreal for me. One play, two plays doesn’t define (it). Who cares about that? That games over. He’s been a monster force, he’ll be a monster for us. That’s the way we work around here.
“We’re going to be ready to play a Game 5, we got great fans, it’s going to be a fun game to play in. We gotta embrace it. My message is its there. Don’t regret it in the summer, ‘I wish I would’ve played harder,’ (or) ‘I wish I would’ve blocked that shot.’ It’s there for us.”
Through the first four games of the series Miller has drawn some of the toughest matchups on the team, playing 55 percent of his 5v5 time against Leon Draisaitl and 62.5 percent against Connor McDavid. Despite sawing off even at 5v5 goals at 2-2, the Canucks have controlled just 37.7 percent of the expected goal share and 38.18 percent of the shot attempt share, according to Natural Stat Trick.
Tocchet said Wednesday he doesn’t have plans to break up Miller’s line.
“The Lindholm line has been good most of the series, the Miller line’s been good, I’m not sure breaking those guys up is the right thing to do,” he said. “But saying that, we do have to get some more offence and we have to get some more from certain people.”
Game 5 between the Canucks and Oilers is set for Thursday night at 7 p.m. CST.

Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at zach@thenationnetwork.com.

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