The Bruins will be in unfamiliar surroundings on Sunday evening, both in terms of on-ice locale and in regards to their lineup — as Boston will fully embrace the youth movement for their anticipated NHL Outdoors at Lake Tahoe showdown with the Flyers.
Even though Bruce Cassidy noted earlier this week that Matt Grzelcyk, Jakub Zboril and Ondrej Kase were all not expected to make the trip out to Nevada for this outdoor matchup, a few other veterans also didn't end up making the trek — as both David Krejci and Kevan Miller will be ruled out for the game to due to a lower-body injury and rest, respectively.
Even though Miller hasn't missed a game so far in 2021, the veteran defenseman has been dealing with the usual bumps and bruises that an NHLer sustains over the course of a season, while also managing a knee that underwent four surgical procedures in the span of 11 months. When factoring in the travel involved with flying out to Nevada for one game — coupled with the fact that the B's won't play again until Thursday on Long Island — keeping Miller out seemed like the most proactive move.
"He had not missed any time at all in terms of games," Cassidy said of Miller. "And this was just one of those where we thought there was a break in the schedule —a six-hour flight, then a bus ride both Friday and Sunday. ... To miss one game and get that week of recovery would be well worth it. So it's one of those — I think 'load management' that they're using in the NBA. So we just decided — he's a little bit sore, why not let him rest and recover? Misses out on obviously a great opportunity to play outdoors but for the good of his season, and the immediate future, let him rest a little bit. So that was the thinking behind it. We fully anticipate he'll be in the lineup in New York on Thursday, and ready to go for us in practice when we get back to Boston."
Krejci's recovery timeline is a bit more cloudy than Miller, although Cassidy added that they don't expect the veteran pivot to miss a significant amount of time after not returning to the ice during Thursday's loss to the Devils at TD Garden.
"Krech will be day-to-day, lower body. Aggravated something there," Cassidy said. "Again, with the travel, if we were going off to, say, a three-game road trip like over the course of five, six days, I assume Kretch would have come and sort of worked his way back. So he's another one I would assume — different than Kevan, because he had to leave the game. So I'm not going to say they're the same. ... I suspect and I hope that he'll be joining us next week in practice, but that one's a little less clear. I'll say that. ... I know Kevan will be joining us and Krech — what I was told it wasn't that serious. "
With both Krejci and Miller also held out, Boston's lineup will feature a couple of fresh faces in significant roles, as