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: