J.T. Miller gave the Vancouver Canucks a huge 3-2 series lead with a last-minute goal in Game 5. Unfortunately, Vancouver could not eliminate the Edmonton Oilers from the Stanley Cup Playoffs in Game 6. Now, the two teams will play a Game 7 to determine the outcome of their second-round series. And Miller is expecting a better performance from his team.

Miller is one of Vancouver's best players during the Stanley Cup Playoffs. He is tied for the team's lead in points with 12 this postseason. Forward Brock Boeser, who will miss Game 7, is the other Canucks player with 12 points. Miller will play his fifth Game 7 on Monday night. He expects a better performance than in Game 6. But he understands that this won't be easy.

“We respond well after we don't bring our A-game, so we expect the same as a group. That's part of the culture in here and the standard, so that's what we're looking forward to,” the Canucks star said, via NHL.com. “It's going to be hard and that's the fun part of it. You got to embrace the hardness. If you want an easy night, then you're going to struggle tomorrow. It's pretty simple and you can't hide in games like these. You’ve got to embrace it and we've been talking about that all season long.”

Canucks ‘energized' by Game 7

Vancouver Canucks forward J.T. Miller (9) and Edmonton Oilers defensemen Evan Bouchard (2) battle for position during the second period in game six of the second round of the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Rogers Place.
Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

There are few things in the world of sports more exciting than a Game 7. Both teams have to put their best foot forward with both seasons on the line. The margin for error is small for both sides. It's an incredible thing to witness, and it can give a team a shot in the arm as well.

“We're in a Game 7 against an extremely good hockey team that no one gave us a chance to really even be in the series with, so we're in a good spot,” said Canucks defenseman Ian Cole, who will play his ninth Game 7, via NHL.com. “We got one game at home to win the series. Taking a step back, putting it into some perspective, I think we should be very excited at the opportunity that we have, and we should be very energized by that.”

Historically, the Canucks are at .500 in Game 7. They are 6-6 in their history in the winner-take-all contest. Vancouver's last Game 7 came in 2020, according to The Athletic. They lost to the Vegas Golden Knights during the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs that year.

A matter of execution

Before Game 7, there are areas of their game that Vancouver must clean up. J.T. Miller and his team have struggled on the power play in recent games, for instance. In fact, their last power-play goal came during their Game 3 win over Edmonton in Edmonton.

The team's issues go deeper than the power play. But in general, coach Rick Tocchet does not believe the issue lies within his system. He called on his team to execute better with their season on the line. “It’s got nothing to do with Xs and Os last game and they know it,” the Canucks bench boss said, via NHL.com. “It's Game 7. We've seen enough video, we've seen this team, it's going to be seven straight games. It's not Xs and Os. We know how they want to play. They know how we want to play, and it really comes down to execution.”

The winner of Monday night's Game 7 will play the Dallas Stars in the Western Conference Finals. Fans can catch Game 7 on Monday night on ESPN in the United States. Puck drop is currently scheduled for 9 PM Eastern Time.