Vancouver Canucks forward J.T. Miller caused quite a stir on Thursday when he yelled at goaltender Collin Delia before smashing his stick on the back of the net during a loss to the Winnipeg Jets.
With Vancouver trailing 3-2 with under one minute remaining in the third period, Miller showed visible frustration when his teammate didn't immediately head to the bench for the extra attacker while the Canucks had possession of the puck in their own zone. The sequence quickly went viral and had hockey fans questioning Miller's attitude and leadership.
Miller downplayed the incident on Friday, saying it shouldn't be a talking point for fans or reporters.
"Well, unless it's inside our locker room, I don't think anyone's opinion really matters, to be honest with you," Miller told Sportsnet's Ryan Leslie. "It's not the coach's fault. I don't even know why this is even being talked about. Maybe I shouldn't have done what I did. It's not out of anger, I was letting him know to go to the bench, I had full control of the puck. That's all it was.
"At the end of the day it probably looks optically not good. So people with other opinions, I don't really give a... you know."
Asked whether he had talked to Delia directly about what happened, Miller said he didn't "think that was anybody's business." The 29-year-old also claimed he wasn't aware anything was amiss until the media started asking about it.
"The only reason there's noise is because you guys are asking me questions about it," Miller said. "I don't care about this at all. I care about the guys in the locker room, my coaches and my teammates. I didn't even know this was a thing until today."
Frustrations have been boiling over in Vancouver seemingly all season as the Canucks are in the middle of a roller coaster campaign. Miller himself said he felt "a little irrelevant" in October as the team stumbled out of the gate. The Canucks are currently sixth in the Pacific Division and six points back of the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference.
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