Boston Bruins: Kevan Miller Out Indefinitely


Oct 18, 2014; Buffalo, NY, USA; Buffalo Sabres left wing Nicolas Deslauriers (44) and Boston Bruins defenseman Kevan Miller (86) fight during the first period at First Niagara Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Entering the start of this season, one area where the Boston Bruins did not possess a shortage was having NHL ready defensemen. Fast forward about two weeks into the regular season and we have seen the Bruins trade away Johnny Boychuk; thus putting more pressure on some of our younger defensemen to rise up to leave the void left behind by Boychuk.

One of those young defensemen; Kevan Miller was expected to take on more of a prominent role with the team by virtue of the Boychuk trade. The undrafted defensemen got his first real opportunity with the Bruins last year and developed a reputation as a big and physical puck moving defensemen who also wasn’t afraid to drop the gloves and take on the role of enforcer.

Over the course of the first seven games of the season, Miller had been on the third defensive pairing alongside Torey Krug. Miller has not been known for his offensive prowess as made evident even more by putting up zero on the score sheet throughout the season. However, Miller was seen as someone who could be a stabilizing force on defense.

However, about halfway through the first period of the Bruins-Sabres game Saturday night, Miller decided to drop the gloves with Sabres tough guy Nicolas Deslauriers. After putting up a nice showing in the bout, Miller was driven down to the ice inadvertently and in the process sustained at the time what the Bruins were calling an upper body injury.

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Two days later and the Bruins have come out and announced the big defensemen suffered a dislocated shoulder with no timetable set for a return to the ice. With Miller being out of the lineup for the foreseeable future, it can be expected that often criticized Matt Bartkowski will come up in Miller’s stay. The Bruins might feel compelled to drop Adam McQuaid from his second line pairing with Dennis Seidenberg to pair with Bartkowski while at the same time bump up Torey Krug.

Regardless, the Bruins defensive depth which was such a strength to start the season is already starting to get put to the test. After some early offensive struggles, the Bruins have been able to post back to back impressive showing with their scoring against Montreal and Buffalo. However, a team in the middle of pack in team defense right now will be tested moving forward not having the services of Miller and still in the process of trying to figure out team chemistry in all facets of the game.