Bruins

Kevan Miller good to play vs. Coyotes after knee scare

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Kevan Miller good to play vs. Coyotes after knee scare

GLENDALE, Arizona – Kevan Miller had a scare after taking a Frank Vatrano blast off his right knee at Friday’s practice, but the veteran B’s blueliner declared himself fit and ready to play Saturday night against the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena.

The 29-year-old Miller is scoreless in his first three games of the season, but they could ill afford to lose another lineup regular with Patrice Bergeron, David Backes and Noel Acciari already missing from the action. Essentially, he got a little “dead leg” right after the puck connected with the top of his knee, but it didn’t do any kind of lasting harm to the area despite him needing help getting off the ice.

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“It was just a good dinger initially. The first couple of minutes were tough and then after that, it wasn’t too bad,” said Miller. “I’m ready to go. I’ve had it before. It’s kind of a common injury for guys that take shots there, and then after a couple of minutes it goes away.”

Bergeron hasn’t been ruled out from Sunday night’s game in Vegas against the Golden Knights, but it makes little sense to play No. 37 when the Bruins have three off days prior to suiting up against the Vancouver Canucks Thursday night in Boston. Austin Czarnik will draw back into the lineup on Saturday vs. the Coyotes and a struggling Frank Vatrano will be a healthy scratch after going scoreless in the first three games of the season.

Here are the Bruins projected line combos and D-pairings vs. the Coyotes based on pregame warm-ups:

 

Marchand-Nash-Pastrnak

DeBrusk-Krejci-Bjork

Beleskey-Spooner-Czarnik

Schaller-Kuraly-Heinen

 

Chara-Carlo

Krug-McQuaid

Miller-McAvoy

 

Khudobin

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Deja vu all over: Gionta again weighing options of hockey future

Deja vu all over: Gionta again weighing options of hockey future

If you asked Brian Gionta how his summer is going, his response might channel baseball Hall of Famer Yogi Berra--it’s like deja vu all over again.

It was just one year ago that Gionta was without an NHL contract and weighing his future in hockey, but at least then the now-39-year-old could look forward to February’s Winter Olympics, where he was planning on captaining the United States’ men’s hockey team.

Now, however, Gionta, who has played parts of 16 seasons in the NHL, is considering making his mark on the sport in a new way--coaching.

The Buffalo Sabres, Gionta’s team for three seasons from 2014-17, asked the winger to help out with their development camp last month, opening Gionta’s mind to the reality of coaching.

“As I’m sitting here trying to contemplate where to go with my career and whether it’s at the end or not, it was good for me to get my foot in there and see what that was all about,” Gionta told NHL Tonight about the camp.

Gionta did manage to get back to the NHL following the Olympics, signing a pro-rated contract with the Bruins for the season’s final 20 games. Gionta chipped in two goals and seven points, but played just 11 minutes in the playoffs.

“I had a unique year last year with the Olympics and signing with Boston late. Had a ton of fun, was able to be around my family a lot last year,” Gionta added.

Now, as another summer of option-weighing and reality-facing pushes forward, Gionta knows at this point in his career there’s more to think about than just hockey.

“The main focus right now is my family, my kids and trying to figure out what’s best for everyone involved. I’ve had a great run, playing a long time in the NHL, and if this is the end, it’s the end.”