When you take a glance at all the players that have taken a minimum of 50 faceoffs, the Canucks have two middlers in the top-10 in the faceoff counter.
It’s not like Jay Beagle is above the Flyers’ Sean Couturier and Claude Giroux, while Bo Horvat comes just below the 10th rank.
What’s weird, though, is that they have another player in the top 10, one that hasn’t even been a middler all season: J.T. Miller.
Miller began the season on right-wing on line two with Horvat before being taken up to the initial line with Elias Pettersson.
The Lotto Line (named for the 6-40-9 numbers of Brock Boeser, Pettersson, and Miller) has been at the center of domination at even-strength, even going past their opponents 11-to-62 and out-scoring them 8-to-2 at 5-on-5.
Pettersson is the main on that line; there’s zero question about that. He’s the one that comes down the most in defensive range and also gives the main outlet for his defencemen on the cover.
He’s also the initiating playmaker offensively, though the movement of the cycle matchups in the NHL has removed some of the key changes between centers and wingers in the attack zone.
Miller as an attacker dons multiple hats, however, his ability to play all three forward roles. He’s been part on center in the past and has traditionally been okayish on faceoffs, but also average at best and not the kind you would usually have him take faceoffs in place of the key center on the line. This season, he’s taken a huge stride forward inefficiency in the faceoff circle.
Miller’s career h2h target is 50.1%, which is a rock crunch number. He is a winger and a winner too. Respect the name or at least the numbers, away fans!