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Canucks star JT Miller knows he has ‘more to give’ — on defense

Notes: “I don’t judge myself by points,” says Vancouver’s top scorer, who finished a 99-point campaign.

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JT Miller thinks the Vancouver Canucks have 100-point potential, but it may be difficult to replicate his career 99-point effort last season.

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And that’s not a bad thing.

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A vocal and proud winger turned centre, he’s not without the ability to score another 32 goals and set up his linemates. The National Hockey is that making it to the playoffs in his league could mean sacrificing offense for a boost in defense.

The 29-year-old Miller has experience picking cross-ice suicide passes in the defensive and offensive zones, and is a bit lax in his back checks.

Anything he was able to dodge while playing along the wall doesn’t work halfway through.

“I don’t judge myself by the points,” Miller said Wednesday before the club began its three-day training camp in Whistler on Thursday. And I think that by reducing a few giving up (goals), I can increase a few (safe exit and entry) mentalities.

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“Some of my favorite players are 200-foot centers, and I try to be more mindful of my goals. There’s something about it, and that’s to make sure that it (defense) is dealt with first before going the other way.

“I don’t count on statistics. I know the attacks will come if I pay well.”


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Managing the center means swiveling your head and being aware of the three zones. It’s a tough gig. But that’s why multiple Selke Trophy winners like Patrice Bergeron were vital to the team’s success.

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“I have a lot of pucks, and I flip them over when I’m playing the game for 20 minutes,” Miller said. “But as I get older, I have a better understanding of when to play and when to play direct. .

“Without the puck, I don’t think I’m tough enough to play by my standards. I’m physically engaged and tend to look at the puck a little bit. I know I have to turn my head.” But it’s hard, you always have to know where your pack is.

“It’s very easy to focus on defense.”

Canucks head coach Bruce Boudreau answers questions during Wednesday's press conference in Vancouver ahead of the club's training camp, which begins the next day in Whistler.
Canucks head coach Bruce Boudreau answers questions during Wednesday’s press conference in Vancouver ahead of the club’s training camp, which begins the next day in Whistler. Photo by Darryl Dyke /canadian press

Boudreau drops camp tips

The bench boss was there on Wednesday.

He’s got a lot of media attention on what the line of scrimmage will look like at Whistler on Thursday.

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“Actually, we’ll have four lines to make it look like opening night, but the next day everything could change. Who knows?” Calgary and Rogers Arena During the pre-season game against the Flames, he teased Boudreau icing the split team on Sunday.

“Penticton had a line of[Chase]Wouters,[Danila]Klimovich,[Tristen]Nielsen and they played together a lot, so we’re going to do that.”

Conor Garland is a right winger by day, but that might not be the case, as Boudreau was more into playing on the buy side.

“Let’s start Garland on the left and see how he likes it,” said the coach. In the last 10 games I played, I thought he did a really good job, and things started to open up for him.”

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Boudreau also put free agent Andrei Kuzmenko, 26, on the left from the start to see what he has in store for Russia. How is reflected in the NHL is very important.

“For him, pace is important,” said Boudreau. “Here you have to believe it’s faster than the KHL Occasionally there are skilled players who stay on the ice a little longer in other leagues. There is no mean shift of 1:10 here. Go hard for 40 seconds and descend.

“There’s no doubt about his skill and he’s a really colorful guy. If he does well, he’ll take the city by storm. But it’s the rigor and physicality. He handles it and scores goals. Can you go to the Dirty Area to get it? No other league offers as much competition.”

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with time – Boudreau said defenseman Tucker Poolman, who was sidelined last season due to a severe migraine, is expected to play in the preseason. “Let’s push him to the bottom and see what happens to him.”

bkuzma@postmedia.com

twitter.com/benkuzma


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Canucks star JT Miller knows he has ‘more to give’ — on defense

Source link Canucks star JT Miller knows he has ‘more to give’ — on defense

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