Home sport “It is what it is” – Sportsnet.ca

“It is what it is” – Sportsnet.ca

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Apr 14, 2023, 6:17 p.m

VANCOUVER – The Mandalorian never takes off his armor in public and JT Miller is the same.

The Giants’ Vancouver Canucks forward, who has shown his best and worst emotions on the ice this season, sounded even the Mandalorian when he described the durability of what his NHL team has achieved over the past two months: “So it is.

This is the creed of the Mandalorians, a tribe of stoic warriors from the Star Wars series, who live by the rules of ideals and traditions.

When you think about it, JT Miller could make an incredibly cool Mandalorian, reviled by some and respected by others, but still ready to fight.

In an interview during the final week of one of the most exciting and controversial seasons in Canucks history, which ended Thursday with a 5-4 win over Vancouver, Arizona, and 22Abbreviation II From his place in the standings, Miller, 29, dropped his shield.

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He is set to begin a seven-year, $56 million contract extension that became a flashpoint for fans’ anger when the player and the team stumbled out of the starting gate last fall. Both recovered after months of melodrama and ended with Rick Tucci replacing Bruce Boudreau as head coach in January, but not enough to prevent the Canucks from losing their seventh Stanley Cup championship in eight years.

Miller’s power forward, when he led Tocchet’s possession and played two of the best field hockey in his life, left him with 32 goals and 82 points—frustrating skeptics who said he would never again be a player in a game after his win. . 99 points campaign a year ago.

But his new contract and initial no-move clause didn’t go into effect until July 1, and the Ohio player is sure to hear plenty of trade speculation by then.

About that, Miller doesn’t care. Almost everything else, it is.

“I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a performance like this (the Canucks’ first half),” Miller told Sportsnet as the Canucks began their final three-game road trip. “I just went off course and then went out of my way and formed bad habits. It’s very simple. I’m not proud of it, but I think that’s what happened. Since we’re making a fresh start, I’m just playing hockey.”

“If my character was ever questioned – and I’m sure he was – I think (the second half) says a lot. It was really hard to be honest with you. But my character is moving forward and bringing my game a lot of nights, and I thought after … point Low for me, I think the way I respond says enough about my personality. There will be parts of next year that people don’t like either, but I try to keep it as low as possible.”

Miller’s “low point” was a two-game series in late December in road losses to the Winnipeg Jets and Calgary Flames. In Game 1, he fired his stick over the net (while in possession of the puck) to get goaltender Colin D’Elia to rush to the bench for an extra forward. The next day he returned the puck and retired after a backcheck.

Much of the criticism of the first attack was nonsense. Any criticism of the latter was justified. Miller was roasted by Hockey Knights Canada panelists Elliot Friedman, Kevin Biksa, and Kelly Hrody. It was a turning point for Miller, although the turning point for the team came later.

After the Bo Horvat deal forced him back to the left wing position, Miller had 41 points in 35 games under Tocchet, won 57% of his tackles, was +9 and led Vancouver in five-for-five touchdowns (54.8%) and breakaway shooting (55.5) despite having one of the lowest PDO (on-ice shooting percentage and save percentage) on the Canucks.

He said everyone looked better under Tochi, who prioritized accountability and defense. But no one looks more transformed than Miller.

“Your word, tough,” he said, “I mean, that’s how it is.” It’s easier to win matches if you give up less. If you defend too hard, the other teams will make the first mistake. I just think since Rick came here with his team, they made it black and white for us. There was a lot of responsibility here. They did a really good job of making sure the guys knew exactly what we were doing. A lot of players have been looking really good since then (because) our team played better as a group.

And next season?

“It’s been a terrible start for us in the last few years,” Miller said. “We have to get over. We’ve done a lot as an organization to get to where we are now. We’ve moved a lot of pieces, (we’re done) and a lot of things to get to where we are. I can’t wait to reset this summer and come back with a fresh start. But we still have 30 A match here or many matches we’ve been here to see what to expect… It’s up to the captains and the captains to do that of course we lead by example and get the group to follow suit. Once that happens it’s part of our game, we don’t have to think about it. (Tocchet He always says it’s like brushing your teeth. It would be very natural. Us. Model.

Miller said he spoke with General Manager Patrick Alvin during the worst part of the season and confirmed that he was part of the Canucks’ future and wasn’t interested in the trade rumors that were sure to surface. Canada Day is here.

“It literally means nothing to me,” he said. “None of this is real.”

Almost all of the controversy surrounding the wisdom of Miller’s $56 million extension is in the context of the team’s fight for the salary cap.

But here’s another question: Debate rages over Miller after he tallied 299 points in 283 games despite missing a handful of games in four tough seasons in Vancouver, so why would he want to stay?

“There are a lot of reasons,” he said. “It could be in a mixed order, but from a non-hockey perspective…it has become home for us. Our kids were kids when they came here. There are a lot of friends and family who enjoy coming here. We come. I mean, the city was great to me, Even out north this year. The amount of support we have and our passionate fanbase, why don’t you want to (stay)? I’m going somewhere to find something I’d like to get here? We’re slowly starting to build something. There were two steps forward and one Back, two steps back and one forward – there have been ups and downs. Last summer, I was like, “We have to be patient. This may not happen this year. And it hasn’t. But if you look at the steps our organization has taken to get to where we want to go … Changes at the top (in direction), changes behind the bench and assembling the squad, I mean, they’re coming.

“At the beginning of the year when we said we were going to make the playoffs and everything started hitting the fans, it was hard for us. But I feel like I’ve been here for a long time. This team is going that way (up). I really think we’re going to be fighting for Stanley Cups in the future. I can’t. To anticipate if next year, next year, four years, five years, but the reason I signed for seven years is because I want to be here when that happens. And I think it will happen.”

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