Speaking to reporters, Miller wasn’t entertaining any thought of the play causing an issue in the locker room.
“Unless it’s in our locker room, I don’t think anybody’s opinion really matters to be honest with you. It’s not the coach’s fault. I don’t even know why this is even being talked about,” Miller said.
“Maybe I shouldn’t have done what I did, but it wasn’t 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.”
With under one minute to go in the game, the Canucks trailed the Winnipeg Jets 3-2 and needed to get goaltender Colin Delia off the ice to create an extra-attacker situation. However, with the puck in his own zone, Delia hesitated to leave the ice.
Miller had the puck and skated around the Canucks’ zone trying to get Delia to go to the bench. The Canucks forward eventually skated behind the goal and swung his stick at the net before the goaltender went to the bench.
Miller said that although the optics of the play didn’t look good, he was just worried about getting Delia’s attention.
Head coach Bruce Boudreau took the blame for the miscommunication on the ice as Delia was looking to the coaches on the bench to let him know when to come off.
“We were pulling Colin, he was looking at me and he wasn’t paying any attention to JT. If you’ve ever been on the ice, it’s pretty hard to hear,” Boudreau explained.
“He’s trying to get his attention. There was no animosity built. There’s 48 seconds left in the game. He’s looking at me, I’m waiting for us to come up the ice a little bit to make sure we have possession.”
Boudreau also believes the entire situation is being blown out of proportion, saying that Miller was only doing what he could to try and get the victory.
The Canucks were finally able to get their extra attacker on the ice, but it was Winnipeg Jets forward Mark Scheifele who scored on the empty-net goal to secure the win.