Vancouver Canucks goalie Collin Delia stood on his head and stopped 35 of the 38 shots the Winnipeg Jets fired his way on Thursday, but it wasn’t enough to get the win as Vancouver fell 4-2.
If it wasn’t for Delia's heroics, the game could have been a blowout, but instead, it was Canucks forward J.T. Miller who blew up on the ice. With Vancouver trailing 3-2, the veteran waved Delia to the bench in the final minute of the third period. He appeared to swear at his teammate as the goaltender hesitated to get off for the extra attacker, costing the Canucks valuable seconds in their comeback bid. Miller took the puck behind his netminder's cage and slammed his stick on top of the net to send Delia off in a hurry with about 50 seconds remaining.
— Lachlan Irvine (@LachInTheCrease) December 30, 2022
While Miller was probably in the heat of the moment and adamant that Delia should have already left for a sixth skater, the sequence was a bad look on the forward and the atmosphere in the Canucks’ dressing room. On social media, people were critical of Miller’s leadership, questioning his relationship with his teammates.
Not a fan of JT Miller disrespecting his goalie Collin Delia during delayed penalty. Miller screaming at tendy to get to the bench is a terrible look. Delia is coached to get to the bench when puck leaves D zone, he is called by his coach #Canucks pic.twitter.com/Vo5Pq7cg2z
— SabresBuzz (@SabresBuzz) December 30, 2022
JT Miller is a stain on the @Canucks organization. Absolutely unacceptable the way he screamed at Colin Delia tonight against the @NHLJets. This guy needs to go or he’ll be a cancer on this club for the better part of the next decade
— Hamdizzle 🇺🇦🇨🇦🇬🇧 (@hamudm) December 30, 2022
Count to ten before you yell at your goalie Miller. Or better yet how ‘bout we don’t take the puck for a roundabout route around the ice with 50 seconds left on the clock to yell at Delia who averaged of SV of .921. #Canucks pic.twitter.com/Sm6PR6qRrT
— Jensen Hasburgh (@JHasburgh) December 30, 2022
Former NHL goalie and analyst Mike McKenna defended Delia’s decision to stay put, stating “a smart goalie doesn’t leave the crease until their team has gotten out of the [defensive] zone cleanly with possession. And some are coached to stay put.” He added how disrespectful Miller’s actions toward Delia were.
Delia, who has spent the bulk of his professional career in the AHL, got his third start of the season for the Canucks against the Jets after he impressed the coaching staff in a 5-2 victory against the Edmonton Oilers last Friday. Even after the loss to Winnipeg, Delia still owns strong numbers with a 2.58 goals-against average and .920 save percentage in 2022-23.
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