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Canucks JT Miller Shift Diary vs. Montreal – 4 Point Night!

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Vancouver Canucks, JT Miller
JT Miller scores his 23rd goal of the season, part of his four-point night against the Montreal Canadiens in a 5-3 Vancouver Canucks win.

JT Miller of the Vancouver Canucks in their 5-3 win over the Montreal Canadiens

Let’s see what kind of night the Vancouver Canucks leading scorer will have Wednesday against the Montreal Canadiens with a VHN shift diary at Rogers Arena:

1st Period

:14-:45 The Canucks 4th-line started the game but Miller came out on the penalty kill after teammate Tyler Motte took a tripping call just 14-seconds into the game. Miller attacked the left point aggressively, forced a rim. Chased back low and then in front as his teammates battled for puck on far boards. PK’ers clear it.

3:10-4:30 More special teams, this time on the power play with Montreal’s Brett Kulak going off for holding at 3:10. Miller lines up on the right side of the LW as Bo Horvat takes the draw and wins it. VAN loses puck, MTL clears and Canucks re-group. On the next rush, Miller cruises into the RW circle and fakes a shot, drops puck and heads to set up on half-wall on LW boards. Plays puck, drops it to point. After point shot wide, Miller blocked a Habs clearing attempt on the far boards by pinning it with his body, but it was then lost on endboards and Habs clear.

7:02-8:00 Started in the D-zone in a defensive posture for 20-seconds before jumping in the rush. Nice deke on his way in, dropped to left point. Headed to the net and re-grouped and headed off after Habs clear.

9:50-9:59-11:15 Icing on an errant Vancouver Canucks break-out pass after line jumped on ice. Miller lost the draw in LW circle but Habs point shot deflected out of play. TV Timeout. Miller line stayed out to take draw again. Same spot. Won draw. Failed entry by the Canucks but Canadiens ice the clear. O-zone face-off in LW circle and Miller wins it. Some cycling. One moderate scoring chance. Habs gain puck on rush, Miller thinks about changing on the backcheck but he’s forced to cover an on-rushing Hab. Gets caught out for a :20-second stretch in the D-zone. Pass misses him on the breakout, he swears and swats at a couple Canadiens on the way to the bench. Hefty shift.

12:41-13:35 Following a Montreal goal by Artturi Lehkonen, Miller’s line was out for the centre-ice faceoff. Brief pressure from Montreal before the Canucks headed up ice for some sustained pressure. Brock Boeser hit the post on a backhander alone in front. Miller then had a point blank chance from the slot that missed the net. Puck came back to Miller in the slot again but he passed up the shot in traffic and dropped it to the point. Brad Hunt moved it to Travis Hamonic who fired a shot from the right point and scored on goalie Samuel Montembeault. Miller was screening, there was traffic, and the puck appeared to go in off a Montreal skate.

16:20-16:47 Lost D-zone draw with a quick recovery by Canucks. Up ice, failed entry. Off the Habs return rush, a quick shot deflected out of play. Change on whistle.

19:20-19:44 In the O-zone, over-skated trying to create cycle in LW corner. Backchecked, recovered to help in front, puck out of play on the break-out. Change on whistle.

End of 1st – Played in every situation, created chances, won four of five face-offs and picked up an assist to extend his consecutive game scoring streak to ten. Montreal Canadiens 1, Vancouver Canucks 1.

2nd Period

:55-1:27-2:36 Started as an even strength shift, became a power play at the 1:27 mark when Mark Hoffman of Montreal went off for slashing Boeser on a breakaway. The even strength portion started with the line backpedaling out of a neutral zone trap. Brief D-zone before the break-out that resulted in the Boeser chance.

On the PP portion, had one nice pass to Horvat who fanned on a shot. Not much sustained pressure before changing out.

5:55-6:36 Hopped on to join fast backcheck, just in time to watch Thatcher Demko make a great save to keep it a 1-1 game. Lost the D-zone draw, Canucks were able to gain possession but in the neutral zone, Miller made an errant pass right on the centre ice dot, the turnover resulted in him taking a slashing penalty at 6:36 in frustrated recovery.

8:38-9:43 Came out of the penalty box just as the Habs were guilty of an offside. Won N-zone draw. Lost puck battle in O-zone LW corner. Habs rush puck, gain zone and set up. Jeff Petry rips a slapper from the point and Miller blocked it in the slot and goes down in pain. Miller hobbled. Off teammate scrum in RW corner, puck free, Miller finally plucks it and goes to the bench as teammates rush.

10:25-10:34 Healthy and ready to go for a power play draw in the LW circle in the offensive zone. LIned up right side of circle. Horvat wins draw. Quickly moved low from Miller to Boeser along the left wing post at the bottom of the circle. Boeser shoots twice from the tough angle and scores on the rebound short side. Power play needed only nine seconds and Miller picked up his second assist of the night.

12:15-13:17 Not much to describe in this scenario. Neutral zone to offensive zone on the forecheck but no possession. To defensive posture for a sustained period off a Montreal rush. Positional shift with no real touches.

14:49-15:26 Off the bench for an O-zone draw in the LW circle. Waved out. Habs win draw, turn puck over but get it back. Rush. Save Demko. Canucks break-out, up ice, quick puck movement. Shot Boeser, saved and held by Montembeault. Change at whistle.

17:12-17:46 On a PK shift after Tyler Myers goes off for cross checking. Lost the draw, set up top of the box watching the points. Shot deflects out of play. PK change.

18:08-19:10 Back out for more penalty kill. Wins faceoff this time in left wing corner but Montreal’s forecheck steals it back. Good shot from Mike Hoffman, save Demko. Canucks clear. Partial change with Miller staying on. Then to bench after another clear.

End of 2nd – Another period, another point. More versatility and unbridled intensity. Won three of four face-offs. One bad turnover and 2 PIM. Montreal Canadiens 2, Vancouver Canucks 2.

3rd Period

:45-1:48 Nothing much to report here. Possession play both ways, no threats. Pace quickly reestablished.

3:39-4:07 His shift interrupted by his team-leading 23rd goal of the season just five seconds into it when he stole a puck from Petry at centre ice, skated in and ripped a wrister top shelf from the inside edge of the left wing circle. Stayed on for the ensuing centre ice draw. No sustained possession and short change.

6:40-7:36-8:53 Another situation where an even strength shift becomes a power play shift. Defensive posture to start the even strength bit. Fortunately for Miller and his mates, Montreal’s Ben Chiarot went off for high sticking. There was sustained pressure early with a couple of chances on the power play, but then trouble gaining the zone again. Finally, Elias Pettersson, off a neutral zone drop pass from Miller, danced in and snapped a beauty past Montembeault for a 4-2 Canucks lead and a 4-point night for MIller.

10:47-11:14 PK shift. Wins D-zone draw in LW circle and Canucks clear. After Habs bring it back in, play stops during a battle as puck was played by a high stick. PK change on the whistle.

12:27-12:55 More PK work. Hops on for seven-seconds of action and then a Demko cover up. Two more face-offs, two more Demko cover ups in just moments. Next sequence results in a face-off win, a clear by the Vancouver Canucks and Miller heading off just as the penalty expires.

15:22-16:55 Down two goals, Habs pull their goalie with 4:38 reamaining and it’s successful. Miller is on the ice. Backdoor play leaves Rem PItlick wide open and he and Montreal cut it to 4-3. Neutral play ensures with Montembeault back in net. Miller wins a neutral zone draw off a stoppage and neither team generates anything serious.

18:00-18:40 Hops on the fly to help gain possession and create a scoring chance up ice for Pettersson. Pad save Montembeault to keep Habs in it. Miller to bench on the move after Montreal clears.

End of 3rd – Miller picks up a goal and an assist in the period, four points for the game. Ten game point streak. 1st star of the hockey game. Vancouver Canucks 5, Montreal Canadiens 3

VHN Managing Editor Rob Simpson has been covering the NHL for three decades on live TV, radio, and as a journalist. He worked his first ever game getting postgame sound as a teenager; it was Vancouver vs. Detroit.

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