After missing over a year of action due to a shattered knee cap, no one knew what to expect from Kevan Miller. Before being injured, Miller went back and forth between the B’s second and third pairing. But after a serious knee injury that kept him out for so long, could he still bring the same physicality and intensity he did prior?
The answer was resounding yes as Miller came back and immediately started where he left off — physically punishing the opposition with bone-crushing body checks. Surprising, Miller even looked to be a better skater and puck handler than he had before being injured.
However, things didn’t run smoothly for Miller the entire season. He would suit up for the first 15 games of the season but then miss nearly a month as his surgically repaired knee would start to act up. The B’s would have to manage Miller’s load by withholding him from practices, morning skates, and one of the games in a back-to-back scenario (two games in two nights).
Kevan Miller was good for the Bruins, all things considered.
There’s no question that Miller isn’t the best defenseman out there, but he knows his role and plays it. He’s here to hit the opposition and make sure they don’t try any funny business with the B’s star players such as David Pastrnak and Taylor Hall.
He’s also here to bring a veteran presence for a rather inexperienced and young defense. There’s no question he did this as he led by example, consistently hitting the opposition and protecting the Black and Gold’s stars.
However, Miller does have his flaws. For one, he can make some silly mistakes despite being a veteran of the league. This season, he had a few bad pinches and a few horrid turnovers that led to chances or even goals against.
Overall, Miller is a solid third-pairing defenseman but shouldn’t have seen an average of ice time over 19 minutes as he did this season. Additionally, while it is sad, the Bruins should let Miller walk this offseason or bring him back solely as a depth defenseman. While is still survivable, he proved that his knee cannot hold up under a heavy workload.