Bruins

Kevan Miller downgraded to "week-to-week" with injury after "bad news" MRI

Kevan Miller downgraded to "week-to-week" with injury after "bad news" MRI

BRIGHTON, Mass. – It’s bad news for Kevan Miller, who is going to be out longer than expected after test results revealed a more serious injury.

The rugged Bruins defenseman has missed the last three games with an upper-body injury after blocking a shot in the win over Vegas on their recently concluded West Coast trip, and had been listed as doubtful and day-to-day since that point. But after missing the entire week of games and practices since coming home, Bruce Cassidy said that Miller has been downgraded to “week-to-week” and that means he’s out for the foreseeable future with the injury.

“Kevan Miller was not out there. He got a little bit of bad news the other day with his MRI,” said Cassidy. “We didn’t think it was much, but they found something there. So it’s a little bit more serious than we first thought. So he’s been classified as week-to-week as opposed to day-to-day.”

The Bruins have obviously done okay without Miller, having won all three games on the homestand amidst a 16-game point streak, but there’s also no doubt that his toughness and rugged defensive zone play are both missing when he’s not in the lineup. In other news, the Bruins did get the return of Sean Kuraly (concussion) to the ice in a non-contact jersey, and he could be an option for Thursday night’s game if he continues to progress from the injury at his current pace. Jaroslav Halak is slated to get the Tuesday night start between the pipes against the Carolina Hurricanes.

Here are the projected Bruins line combos and D-pairings for Tuesday night’s game vs. Carolina based on Monday’s snow practice at Warrior Ice Arena:

LINE COMBOS

Marchand-Bergeron-Heinen

DeBrusk-Krejci-Johansson

Cehlarik-Coyle-Backes

Nordstrom-Acciari-Wagner

Kuraly

D-PAIRINGS

Chara-McAvoy

Krug-Carlo

Moore-Grzelcyk

Kampfer

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Here's Bruins' first-round playoff scenario entering Sunday vs. Capitals

Here's Bruins' first-round playoff scenario entering Sunday vs. Capitals

The Boston Bruins' potential first-round playoff matchups are laid out for them as they prepare for Sunday's game against the Washington Capitals.

The Montreal Canadiens upset the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday, thus eliminating the Pens from playoff contention. That means the B's will either begin their Stanley Cup run against the New York Islanders or the Carolina Hurricanes.

If the Bruins beat the Capitals on Sunday, they'll face the Islanders in the first round. If they lose, they'll face the Hurricanes.


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Carolina comes off three straight convincing wins over the New York Rangers in the Toronto bubble. As for the Isles, they took three out of four from the Florida Panthers.

Either way, the B's will have a tough test in Round 1, and their fate will be determined by their final round-robin matchup on Sunday.

Boston currently is 0-2 in Toronto, falling 4-1 to the Philadelphia Flyers and then 3-2 to the Tampa Bay Lightning. In order to gain some momentum heading into the postseason, there's no doubt the Bruins will need to show more of a sense of urgency than they have in the bubble to this point.

Bruins' Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci and Jaroslav Halak miss Friday's practice

Bruins' Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci and Jaroslav Halak miss Friday's practice

Bruins players Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci and Jaroslav Halak were all missing from Friday’s practice in the Toronto bubble while “unfit to participate”, but all are expected to be back for Sunday’s round-robin showdown with the Washington Capitals.

Cassidy called it a “short-term thing” and expected all three players would be ready to practice on Saturday ahead of their final round-robin game this weekend.

“We anticipate [on Saturday] we’ll have our full group, but until we’ll just keep trying to make it work,” said Bruce Cassidy. “Obviously this whole training camp we haven’t had lines together consistently for different reasons. Will it affect us in the postseason? Time will tell.

“I’d like to see our group together to see what it looks like…all together. But until that happens we’re going to fit people in together for practices and games where they can best help us and then go from there.”

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It will be the first time the entire Bruins group will be healthy, ready and available to play and Bruce Cassidy indicated that both Ondrej Kase and defenseman Connor Clifton should get in their first game action of the last two weeks.

Clifton will likely play in place of rookie D-man Jeremy Lauzon in order to get him some game action prior to next week’s playoff games, and Kase will be expected to knock the rust off after being set behind while spending a month in quarantine at the beginning of the NHL’s Return to Play.

“He looks good. He’s making some plays. He’s got some jump,” said Cassidy of Kase in practice this week. “I think the first three days were tough on him for obvious reasons and now he’s been at it for a full week. You can see he’s a little more natural with everything he does. He’s got quick hands.

“My anticipation is he’ll have lots of energy and he’ll fight the puck like a lot of our guys early on in their first game back because of the speed. I anticipate he’ll get some shots because he’s been shot-first in practice and we could use a little more of that. We need him to play. Hopefully he can pick it up quick because he’s missed some time. We have every intention of using him in Game 1 [next week], we just have to see where he’s at [against the Capitals]. Hopefully he’s ready to go.”

With Kase and Clifton expected to play on Sunday, the Bruins will have everybody they expect to use on their roster with at least some game action under their belt and ready to play whoever their opponent ends up being whether it’s the Islanders, Penguins or Hurricanes based on the way things play out this weekend.