Vancouver blew a 3-0 lead in its opener Wednesday night to fall 5-3 to the Edmonton Oilers, and the Canucks conceded a two-goal advantage Saturday to lose 3-2 to the Philadelphia Flyers.
It’s the first time in franchise history the Canucks have started the season losing back-to-back games after leading by more than one goal.
No player is feeling the heat more than Miller, who has been on the ice for all eight goals scored on the Canucks.
“It sucks, but I don’t really have the right to talk about the team at the moment,” Miller told reporters Saturday. “I take this upon myself to be a better player. Not playing to my standards, so I’m not going to comment on behalf of the team. The team is battling, it’s not going great for us finishing the games but it’s not like we had a good start today by any means. We just happened to be up two.”
He added: “I’ve been on for all eight (expletive) goals. I’m pretty frustrated.”
Although the Canucks missed the playoffs last season, expectations were the team would pick up where they left off. Vancouver posted a 32-15-10 record under new head coach Bruce Boudreau, who took over behind the bench after the Canucks fired Travis Green on Dec. 5.
Miller, who was originally set to become an unrestricted free agent next summer, signed a seven-year, $56 million contract extension in early September to stay with the Canucks long-term. The deal came after Miller posted career highs last season with 32 goals and 67 assists for a team-leading 99 points.
“I’m just disappointed,” said Miller, who has one goal and one assist so far this season. “I’m not trying to make this about me, but I’m not considering how bad we played when I can’t even lead by example right now. … I thought I had a good start (Thursday) but I feel a little irrelevant being on the ice for every goal. I don’t know what to say.”
Miller and the Canucks will look to regroup when they visit the Washington Capitals on Monday.
“We get to play almost every day at this job, so it’s great,” Miller said. “Worry about it the next game. Not happy right now, but nobody is. A good chance to do it in a couple of days.”