Canucks' Miller 'frustrated' with his performance: I feel like I'm irrelevant
Vancouver Canucks forward J.T. Miller's lucrative seven-year, $56-million extension doesn't kick in until next season, but neither he or the team have started the 2022-23 campaign the way they expected to.
"I've been on for all eight f------ goals (against)," Miller said after the Canucks fell to the Philadelphia Flyers 3-2 on Saturday for their second loss in as many games. "Pretty frustrated."
He added, "I'm just disappointed. I'm not trying to make this about me, but I'm not going to sit here and talk about how bad we played when I can't even lead by example right now. ... I feel like I'm a little irrelevant and being on the ice for every goal, I don't know what to say."
The Canucks led 2-0 after the first period Saturday, but ultimately surrendered three unanswered goals, with forward Travis Konecny delivering the dagger late in the final frame.
The contest followed a similar pattern to Vancouver's season-opening defeat against Edmonton on Wednesday: The Canucks held a 3-0 edge but the Oilers stormed back with five straight tallies to complete the comeback.
Between the two losses, the Canucks have blown a multi-goal lead in back-to-back games to start a season for the first time in franchise history, according to Sportsnet Stats.
With Miller on the ice, the Canucks have been outscored 8-3 at all strengths, and they've only managed to control 16.7% of the expected goals and 15.4% of the scoring chances at five-on-five, according to Natural Stat Trick. Leading up to the Flyers' game-tying shorthanded goal in the second period, Miller had trouble corralling a bouncing puck.
Head coach Bruce Boudreau said he's spoken to his exasperated forward, who also vowed to become a "better player" amid his early struggles.
"I think (Miller) is making a good assessment. ... But I know he's a great player, I know he's gonna get better," Boudreau said. "He's having a little bit of a rough time right now."
He added, "It is a straight bottom line when your best players aren't your best players, then you're in trouble any night. I don't think they've been our best players yet."
Miller, 29, paced the Canucks with 99 points in 80 games last season. He has one goal and one assist through two games in 2022-23.
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