Before the Bruins returned to the ice for the third period of Thursday’s eventual 3-0 over Minnesota, Bruce Cassidy carved out some time to speak with Kevan Miller.
A regular on the blue line noted for his trademark snarl and bone-crunching hits, Miller has more often than not found himself on the wrong side of the punishment he regularly doles out this season — missing 42 games so far due to a variety of ailments, including a fractured hand and a damaged larynx.
Finally cleared to return to game action on Sunday after an upper-body injury sidelined him for over a month, it seems fitting — given Miller’s luck this season — for him to once again feel the sting of the injury bug during a game as inconsequential as Thursday’s matchup in Minnesota.
And yet, speaking with Cassidy ahead of the final period of play, Miller wanted to come back in and give it a go.
Still needing to shake off the rust after his latest stint on the shelf, Miller was on pace to log over 20 minutes of ice time on Thursday — leading all Bruins in TOI following the first 20 minutes of play.
But just 20 seconds into the second frame, Miller’s leg bore the brunt of a collision into the corner after racing for a loose puck with Wild winger Jordan Greenway.
Kevan Miller goes into the boards and he's hurting.
Not good. pic.twitter.com/XoTPFY1dDV
— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) April 5, 2019
Even after needing help from the Bruins’ medical staff to make his way off the ice, Miller still found himself back on Boston’s bench in the closing minutes of the second — setting the stage for a potential return in the final period after a strong start to the night for the veteran (61.90 Corsi For Percentage, 3-1 edge in scoring chances generated).
But Cassidy was quick to put an end to any talk of a hasty return.