Promising young Canucks receive essential training on how to win


EDMONTON – As the Vancouver Canucks open their round of 16 playoff on Wednesday night against Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues, it will be nearly five days since they knocked out the Wild from the Minnesota.

JT Miller’s vocal cords needed every minute of rest.

Miller is off to a good start, as are the Canucks, which means the power winger and key leader will bellow the roster card again for coach Travis Green on Wednesday.

“It’s not usually that fiery,” Green said. Sportsnet. “He had the music edited and it was pretty good. I laughed as I left the room.

Half a million viewers – and that counts – have chuckled since the NHL released the viral video of Miller indulging in WWE to pump up his teammates in the locker room before beating the Wild 5-4 on Friday in overtime for the premieres. Canucks playoffs. series won since 2011.

Green often asks a player to announce the starting lineup. If the team wins, the same player reads the roster card in the next game and continues until the Canucks lose. Miller has been testing eardrums since Game 2 a week ago when Vancouver pulled off its nervous start to the Stanley Cup tournament and took control of its qualifying series against Minnesota.

On Friday night Miller had the European Swedish group’s anthem “Final Countdown” – released before the birth of all Canucks except Loui Eriksson and Jay Beagle – yelling through the locker room as he rushed forward screaming the starters.

“It was something new,” Green said. ” It was great. Guys had never done anything like this. I thought it was really good because it relaxed the group. As staff we want the guys to have fun. It is important that the players have fun. There’s too much slack, then there’s enough slack not to be nervous.

Ten players in the Canucks’ 20-man lineup on Friday hadn’t seen an NHL playoff game until last week, but the team hasn’t looked nervous since their nervous 3-0 loss to the Wild. in the first game.

They closed the qualifying streak with three straight wins and = Friday came back from 3-1 and 4-3 deficits, saving starting goalie Jacob Markstrom after one of his poorest games this season when veteran defender Chris Tanev – “Tequilaaaaaaaa!” according to Miller three hours earlier – scored 11 seconds in overtime.

For people outside British Columbia, it’s hard to understand what this series win means for the Canucks, who have been completely and painfully rebuilt since they last played in the playoffs in 2015 and throughout the In the past four years, they’ve lost more games than any other team except the Buffalo Sabers. OK, maybe the people of Toronto get it.

With key young players like Bo Horvat, 25, Brock Boeser, 23, Elias Pettersson, 21, and Quinn Hughes, 20, still improving, the future of the squad looks incredibly bright. But the Canucks are just learning to win. And when they experienced their first playoff hurricane last week, this inexperienced group did not retreat or be blown away.

They’re probably not as good as the Blues, but in the fantasy world of round robin play, the Blues weren’t as good as the Blues either. The Canucks have amassed a lot of growth in four games against the Wild, and they are a dangerous and confident team.

“I thought in the first game we were really nervous,” said Green. “We talked about it (the next day). I thought our team was really down that we lost too. We talked about adopting it and being excited to play. Don’t be nervous about playing. You must meet these challenges head-on. You need to develop that attitude as a group that it’s okay to be nervous, but face your challenges head-on and be excited about them.

“That first game, I was surprised how much it affected us when I walked into the room to get a feel for the guys situation. “Why are they so depressed, what’s going on? It was probably just a bit of the build-up and how badly they wanted to win. But many of them weren’t there before.

“We told them, ‘If we win the second game, we’re going to win the series. I really believed in it. We had more to give, we were a better team. Funny what belief does with a group where a lot of them had never been there before.

From the Stanley Cup Qualifiers to the Stanley Cup Finals, stream all 2020 Stanley Cup Playoff games live, blackout-free, on Sportsnet NOW.

The Canucks were supposed to be outscored 5-5 against the Wild, but have defended their goal area as well as this season. Not only did Vancouver’s young stars rise up, but also their experienced players, including veterans like Brandon Sutter, Beagle and Eriksson who are often criticized for failing to honor their contracts.

“We’ve said all along that we’re going to write skillsets and surround them with players of character and people,” GM Jim Benning said. “It has been our plan since I came here.

“When we talk about development, it’s about being able to play in the league and be successful in the regular season. But at the end of the day, it’s about doing the things that are important to winning the playoffs. I know it took a little longer than I would have liked it to take. But now that we’re in the playoffs and the experience these young players have gained, it’s just going to make them better and better players.

The Canucks used 24 players against the Wild – depth was also supposed to be an issue – and Friday had six of their own first-round picks in the roster: Horvat (2013), Jake Virtanen (2014), Boeser (2015) ), Olli Juolevi (2016), Pettersson (2017) and Hughes (2018).

“I was really happy for our group that we won, but I want us to continue,” said Benning. “St. Louis won the Stanley Cup last year and they have a great team. But I want our guys to feel like they can make this series and if they work and compete we can give St. Louis a good series. For me, the work is not yet finished. I’ll wait until we move forward before I start celebrating.

Cue the intros. It’s Miller’s time.


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