The Bruins may not be getting much help as far as health goes on their back end with Charlie McAvoy potentially looking at a Game 1 suspension for his hit in the closeout game versus the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday night.
Veteran D-man Kevin Miller (lower body) isn’t ready to return, according to the Tuesday update from Don Sweeney, with McAvoy likely to be headed for at least a one-game suspension for his head shot to Josh Anderson in the third period of Monday night’s 3-0 win in Game 6.
Miller has missed the entire 13 games of Boston’s playoff run to date after injuring his knee in the final few games of the regular season, and really hasn’t been seen on the ice much since then. Still, the Bruins remain hopeful that he can make a return at some point in their extended playoff run.
“[There is] nothing definitive. [He’s] made some progress. We’re hopeful,” said Sweeney. “The further we play, the more opportunity he has.”
John Moore (upper body) has been in and out of the lineup and could be available to play if absolutely needed, but it sounds like he’s “dealing with stuff that makes it hard.” In other words, a nagging injury that’s been negatively impacting Moore’s performance with zero points and a minus-4 in the four postseason games that he has appeared in for the Black and Gold.
Based on all that, the expectation would be that extra D-man Steve Kampfer would probably draw into the B’s lineup for Game 1 against the Carolina Hurricanes should McAvoy get suspended for his illegal check to Anderson’s head. Kampfer played one game in the first round vs. the Maple Leafs, registering 11:06 of ice time, but has otherwise been relegated to the press box for the entirety of Boston’s postseason after dressing for 35 games during the regular season.
McAvoy is scheduled to have a phone hearing with the NHL Department of Player Safety on Tuesday and should learn his fate pretty quickly after that.
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