Kevan Miller

Kevan Miller joining Bruins on five-game trip, 'doubtful' for this weekend vs. Canucks

bruins_kevan_miller_2_092317.jpg
FIle Photo

Kevan Miller joining Bruins on five-game trip, 'doubtful' for this weekend vs. Canucks

BRIGHTON,  Mass – Kevan Miller (upper body) seems like he's going to make the Bruins' five-game road trip this weekend in Vancouver, but the defenseman is “doubtful” to return Saturday against the Canucks. 

Miller skated again with the Bruins on Thursday at Warrior Ice Arena in a non-contact jersey after doing the same thing through a morning skate on Tuesday, so it’s clear the veteran D-man hasn’t progressed enough to clear the final hurdles for being a full practice participant.

“He’s skating, but he’s in a non-contact jersey … so he’s getting back. I don’t want to rule him out [for Saturday], but I’d say he’s doubtful,” said Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy of Miller, who will miss his seventh straight game if he doesn’t suit up against Vancouver. “No change for [Vatrano] and [Bjork]. … They’re not skating. The advantage we do have is that if there’s an accelerated recovery then they can join us in Toronto, but [Kevan Miller] has the best chance to play.”

Cassidy confirmed that Frank Vatrano (lower body) and Anders Bjork (upper body) both won’t be making the trip with the team to Western Canada, and that leaves the B’s currently without an extra forward if anybody gets hurt over the next few games. 

The hope is that one of Vatrano or Bjork perhaps will have made enough progress to meet the team in Toronto next week when they finish off the five game road trip with back-to-back games next weekend against the Maple Leafs and Sabres. Either that or the Bruins may dip into Providence to have an extra forward just in case the injury hits them over the next week or so spent in Western Canada.  

Here are the line combos and D-pairings from practice with David Pastrnak returning to his rightful spot on the top line with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand, after getting dropped to the third line during Tuesday’s win over Calgary: 

 

Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak

DeBrusk-Krejci-Spooner

Heinen-Nash-Backes

Schaller-Kuraly-Acciari

 

Chara-McAvoy

Krug-Carlo

Grzelcyk-McQuaid

Postma

 

Rask

Khudobin 

Miller closer to return, but will miss B's game vs. Calgary

20-kevan-miller-rc_1.jpg
File photo

Miller closer to return, but will miss B's game vs. Calgary

BRIGHTON -- It looks like the Bruins won’t be getting any of their walking wounded back in time for Tuesday night's game against the Calgary Flames.

Kevan Miller (upper body injury) was on the ice in a no-contact jersey at Tuesday’s morning skate at Warrior Ice Arena. Anders Bjork (upper body) and Frank Vatrano (lower body) were both still missing as the rest of the B’s went through their morning pregame routine. 

All three are out against the Flames on Tuesday, but coach Bruce Cassidy indicated last weekend that a return this week for Miller could be in the cards. 

“He’s gone from riding a bike to skating, and then he’ll get contact. Then he’ll practice and we’ll see where the lineup is at,” said Cassidy of Miller, who will miss his sixth straight game tonight. “It could be Saturday [in Vancouver]. I fully anticipate he’s going on the [Western Canada] trip with us. But that’s a few days away.” 

There weren’t the same guarantees about either Bjork or Vatrano being ready to make the trip, given that they’re not even skating at this point in their respective recoveries. But the B’s don’t play again until Saturday and things may change.

As for tonight, the lineup should be the same as it was against the New Jersey Devils on Sunday when Noel Acciari returned after missing seven games, and Austin Czarnik was returned to Providence after a solid stint in Boston.

Here are the projected line combos and D-pairings vs. the Flames based on morning skate: 
 
Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak
DeBrusk-Krejci-Spooner
Heinen-Nash-Backes
Schaller-Kuraly-Acciari
 
Chara-McAvoy
Krug-Carlo
Grzelcyk-McQuaid
 
Rask

Rested and relaxed McAvoy makes his return to Bruins

bruins_charlie_mcavoy_122117.jpg
File photo

Rested and relaxed McAvoy makes his return to Bruins

BRIGHTON, Mass – A few days shy of two weeks, 20-year-old rookie defenseman Charlie McAvoy is going to return to the Bruins lineup tonight after undergoing a procedure to fix an abnormal heart rhythm. 

McAvoy was fully medically cleared by doctors on Wednesday and has skated the past three days with the team while not technically skating in a full team practice ahead of tonight’s return against the Toronto Maple Leafs at TD Garden.

The quick recovery certainly speaks to McAvoy's youth and high conditioning levels and also to a heart procedure that went perfectly for a young athlete who isn't expected to have any more related issues with it.   

In a silver lining kind of way, McAvoy is looking at it as the kind of midseason breather that most NHL players aren’t afforded in the grind of the regular season. For McAvoy, who didn’t even total 50 games last season between Boston University, the World juniors, Providence and Boston, it might just be the kind of thing that allows him to sidestep the rookie wall that seemed to be waiting for him in the second half.

“It was somewhat of a quick two weeks. It’s always a little hard when you’re on couch rest there and sitting around, so it does tend to feel a little longer than it is. But in the grand scheme when you’re back on the ice and ready to go within two weeks of the procedure, that was our goal and it was attainable. Everything was going to have to line up for it to happen, and it did,” said McAvoy. “I don’t anticipate being too far behind. In all honesty at this point 40 games in [to the season], to get a week-and-a-half to rest and relax is pretty beneficial. As far as the muscles, the bumps and the bruises and even the mindset, having a week away from the rink would be pretty beneficial if you asked just about anybody.

“So, I’ve had that rest and I’ve come back working hard, and this is the next step getting into game situations and getting back out there. I’m going to do the best I can to help keep the team going and trending in the right direction. They were playing really good without me, so I’ve got to make sure I come back in and I’m a positive part of the lineup.”

Either way, the expectation is that McAvoy will be exactly what he was prior to the procedure, which is the best rookie defenseman in the NHL and a workhorse who's averaged right around 23 minutes of ice time per game. The Bruins will need him too with rugged veteran Kevan Miller out for the game with the Leafs and still day-to-day with an upper-body injury that’s kept him off the ice the past two days.

Noel Acciari (lower body) will also miss Saturday night’s game and will be replaced by AHL call-up Austin Czarnik. Here are the projected line combos and D-pairings with Tuukka Rask getting the start in goal:

 
Heinen-Bergeron-Pastrnak

DeBrusk-Krejci-Spooner

Schaller-Nash-Backes

Vatrano-Kuraly-Czarnik

 
Chara-McAvoy

Krug-Carlo

Grzelcyk-McQuaid

 
Rask