The Boston Bruins will get another defenseman back into the lineup Friday night in Buffalo when Kevan Miller returns as the Bruins try to sweep their current three-game set against the Sabres.
Boston Bruins Head Coach Bruce Cassidy had already confirmed that this latest injury, that has now kept Miller out for the last five games, was not related to his reconstructed right knee, and on Thursday, Miller revealed what exactly was keeping him out of the lineup on the ‘Dropping The Gloves’ Podcast.
“I’ve got an infection on my foot from my skate. It was rubbing on my foot and it turned into cellulitis and the next thing you know I was in the hospital for a couple days, and on the shelf,” said Miller, just a couple of minutes into the podcast interview. “Eventually I’m just going to buy a lotto ticket because things are going to turn, and it won’t be an issue anymore. But I’m healthy now and ready to play, thankfully.”
Miller has already been on a load management schedule, not playing back-to-back and going every other game, since returning from his latest issues with his knee on April 6. He’s only played 19 games this season. On Friday morning, Cassidy discussed the present and upcoming approach for his rugged defenseman and why he chose to insert Miller back in tonight versus in Pittsburgh Sunday when the Boston Bruins begin a two-game set with the Penguins that concludes Tuesday in Pittsburgh.
“He’s in tonight because he’s supposed to stay out of back-to-back games,” Cassidy pointed out. “So, it was either going to be [Thursday] or tonight. We’re limiting his skating after games; we’re all going to be off tomorrow. So if he had played last night, he wouldn’t have skated today and Saturday’s a day off so it’s a long time between games. We expect him to go in and play Sunday against Pittsburgh and we expect him to play Tuesday against Pittsburgh. It’s the back-to-back’s that are the issue.”
Since Miller’s latest extended absence from the lineup wasn’t due to his knee, the Boston Bruins will resume their schedule they had mapped out for him and he should be able to play in at least the next three games, counting tonight in Buffalo.
He had something else going on that took a little while to calm down and that’s why he missed the last number of games,” Cassidy said. “Like I’ve said, the previous injury had nothing to do with it. We are going to again. …manage his days on the ice, but once the puck drops, he’s going to play. There’s no ‘Well, we’re gonna keep him at 18 minutes versus 22. It depends on the situation, it depends on time and score. Last night we got a lead in the third and we were able to better distribute minutes among our forwards and our D group for that matter, so that’s always a luxury if we can get into that situation.
So that’s how we’re handling Kevan and like I said, I expect him to play the next three games for us because there’s days in between and going forward until we hit another one of those back-to-back’s or three in four and we might have to look at it. So, that’s the plan with him, hopefully, we can stick to it.”
Miller will take Connor Clifton’s spot in the lineup Friday. He has two assists in 19 games this season.