BOSTON – The Bruins were forced to go with five defensemen midway through Saturday afternoon’s matinee when Kevan Miller was knocked out of Boston’s 6-3 win with an upper body injury.
Miller was clobbered from behind by a charging Jakub Voracek midway through the second period when the Flyers forward recklessly moved in behind the B’s D-man while obviously spotting numbers on the back of his jersey. Voracek turned his back to Miller perhaps in an effort to avoid a dangerous hit as he moved into the corner, but the Flyers All-Star still crashed backside first into the Bruins defenseman before wallpapering him against the boards.
Miller was down for a few minutes before being helped off the ice after he slamming head-first into the boards, and never returned to the game. Voracek was slapped with a five minute major for boarding on the avoidable collision with Miller, but returned to the game and ended up assisting on a Flyers goal at the end of the second period.
After the game, Claude Julien didn’t have much of an update on the banged up Miller aside from the obvious to anyone that saw the hit.
“All I was told was he wasn’t returning [to Saturday’s game],” said Julien. “So that’s all I know. It’s, as you know, probably the old ‘upper-body syndrome’ and then I’m probably going to follow up there soon.”
If Miller is injured then the Bruins will be down a pair of D-men with puck-moving defenseman Colin Miller having missed the last couple of games with a lower body injury suffered in the Tuesday night win in St. Louis.
Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while the Bruins are going into troll mode.
*Here is the aforementioned “troll mode” for the Bruins now that they’ve clinched a playoff berth. They came out with a marketing campaign where they’re dragging FOH (Friend of Haggs) Mike Felger for his early season take that the Bruins season is over. He also ripped the young players at the beginning of the year as well, so they used the sound from “Felger and Mazz” with video clips of David Pastrnak and Charlie McAvoy dominating for the Black and Gold, and shots of the young players mean mugging at the camera. It definitely shows that the Bruins perhaps care a little too much about what the media thinks about them, but it’s also a fair bit of clap-back toward a take that was a little too harsh on the B’s early in the season.
*What a great piece on the Stoneman Douglas hockey team as they embark on a national hockey tournament after winning at the state level in the weeks after the Parkland shooting.
*Chicago Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman says the Hawks aren’t shaken even as they’ll be missing the playoffs for the first time in a long time. What a disappointing season.
*Despite a great season, Taylor Hall may end up missing the playoffs with the New Jersey Devils amidst his Hart Trophy-type season.
*Good news for the Toronto Maple Leafs as Auston Matthews is returning from injury ahead of the playoffs.
*For something completely different: This new, updated version of the Karate Kid web series looks awesome with Billy Zabka and Ralph Macchio.
Bruins star center Patrice Bergeron has been dealing with a fractured foot injury since late February. He sustained the injury while blocking a shot in the loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Coach Bruce Cassidy is predicting a return for Bergeron this weekend against the Minnesota Wild if he is medically cleared. He will be evaluated tomorrow.
Depending on the results from the evaluation, there might not even be a need to rush Bergeron back with the Bruins clinching a playoff berth in a 2-1 OT loss to the Blues yesterday evening.
MORE BRUINS: Bruins clinch playoff berth in 2-1 OT loss to Blues
The Bruins currently sit six points behind the Tampa Bay Lighting for first place in the Atlantic Division. Ten games currently remain on the B’s schedule with the Presidents' Trophy also hanging in the balance.
If the B’s decide to make a run for the Presidents' Trophy, Bergeron would definitely provide a boost in play in addition to leadership for the final stretch of the regular season.