Good news for Bruins: Miller 'day to day' with bruised knee


Good news for Bruins: Miller 'day to day' with bruised knee

BRIGHTON -- The Bruins dodged their first potential major injury of the looming regular season when defenseman Kevan Millar was diagnosed with a bruised knee after being hit by a puck in Tuesday's exhibition loss to Montreal.

“It’s good news. Day-to-day, so there’s nothing major," said coach Claude Julien. That’s where he is right now. It was a bruise.”

The hard-nosed, stay-at-home defenseman missed practice at Warrior Ice Arena again on Thursday morning

With Miller seemingly okay and the start of the season right around the corner, that means there might not be any open spots for young defensemen Brandon Carlo or Robbie O’Gara to start the season. That also means there’s a roster battle afoot with 34-year-old Christian Ehrhoff on a veteran tryout in B’s camp. The puck-moving D-man scored a goal in the loss to Montreal, and Julien expects the veteran blueliner to be in the lineup for both of the final preseason games as he mulls some tough roster decisions. 

“We need to see how he fits on our hockey club, as well,” said Julien. “Playing those [preseason] games isn’t really about proving anything as much as it’s about ‘How does he fit in our group?’ That’s important. I guess we’ll make that decision when the time comes, but our goal is to give him that opportunity that he asked for, and that we were willing to give him because we want to see if he could be a fit for our hockey club.”

That may or may not be good news for a young vet like Joe Morrow on a one-way NHL contract if Ehrhoff continues to impress the coaches and shows he could be a good fit with the Bruins. 

Here are the projected line combos for Thursday night’s game against the Columbus Blue Jackets with most of the B’s big name veterans getting the night off: 

Backes 'will be out for a couple of games' with right leg laceration

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Backes 'will be out for a couple of games' with right leg laceration

The late season attrition continues for the Boston Bruins as David Backes will miss some time with the laceration on his right leg caused by an errant skate blade in Saturday night’s win over the Tampa Bay Lightning. 

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It took roughly 18 stitches to close a wound that was gushing blood as Backes quickly exited the ice in the first period, and now it looks like it’s going to force him to miss a handful of games here late in the season. Bruins GM Don Sweeney confirmed that Backes isn’t “day-to-day” as they wait for nature to take its and heal a significant gash that could have been much worse for the 33-year-old power forward. 

“David Backes returned late [Saturday] night with the team. He did meet with our doctors, and they reevaluated the cut. They did some work on it. Obviously, you’ve got great medical care down in Tampa; we’re thankful for that, but our guys wanted their own hands and eyes on it,” said Sweeney. “A timetable hasn’t been set for him. 

“You can imagine it was a pretty significant cut, and now that it’s been, sort of, re-cleaned and addressed accordingly, we’ll just let nature take its course, let it heal. I don’t have a definitive timetable on that one, certainly not day to day. I would suspect he’ll be out for a couple games, and then we’ll reevaluate.”

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The biggest concern for the Bruins with a cut of that nature is the chance of infection, so that’s something the Bruins medical staff will be monitoring closely as Backes heals over the next week or two. It’s too bad for both the B’s and Backes as the Bruins forward was knocked out in the first period against both Florida and Tampa after serving a three-game suspension, and has had his share of freak injuries and illness this season with first diverticulitis that ended with colon surgery, and now the skate blade incident. 

The good news is that it doesn’t sound like Backes is in any danger of being ready for the playoffs, and that’s truly matters as the Bruins continue to win games with so many good players injured and removed from the lineup. Sweeney also gave updates on Patrice Bergeron, who may join the Bruins on their next extended road trip following Monday night’s game vs. Columbus, and Jake DeBrusk, who it doesn’t sound like is all that close to returning to the lineup with his upper body injury.


Bruins sign prospect Ryan Donato to entry-level contract

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Bruins sign prospect Ryan Donato to entry-level contract

The Bruins announced Sunday they have signed Harvard forward Ryan Donato to a two-year entry-level contract.

Donato will be eligible to play in tomorrow's game vs the Blue Jackets.

The 21-year-old led Harvard in scoring in 2017-18, recording 26 goals and 17 assists for 43 points in 29 games. Donato also represented Team USA at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, where he tied for the most goals in the Olympics with five in as many games.