Kevan Miller Always Has Teammates’ Backs; They Returned Favor In Game 4

Miller left after an ugly hit from Dmitry Orlov


May 21, 2021

The Boston Bruins, without saying it directly, seemed to reveal the message in the dressing room during the second intermission Friday.

“Kevan Miller always has had our backs, let’s make sure we have his.”

They did.

Miller left Friday’s eventual Game 4 win over the Capitals, which pushed Washington to the brink of elimination, after an ugly hit from Dmitry Orlov.

The B’s defenseman ended up in the hospital for scans, and the hit, though it only resulted in a minor penalty even after a review, drew the ire of Boston head coach Bruce Cassidy.

But the Bruins responded in a few ways. Immediately after the hit, Charlie Coyle engaged Orlov (both got roughing penalties) and the Caps blueliner got an earful from Nick Ritchie before going to the box. The Bruins then scored on the resulting power play to go up 1-0, then they continued pushing until the final horn sounded, giving them a 4-1 win.

Even before Friday, it was clear how fond the Bruins are of Miller. It was even clearer after the game.

“Especially a guy like Millsy that steps up for every single guy in the room, we felt like we had to get it done for him,” David Pastrnak said after the game over Zoom, “He’s a big part of our team, and that was our main focus going into the third was getting it done for him. … It was a huge response stepping up for Millsy.”

Matt Grzelcyk, who in his rookie year was defensive partners with Miller, echoed the sentiment.

“You never want to see a hit like that. Millsy’s a huge part of our team, he sticks up for everyone, so we wanted to do that for him, and to make sure we’re doing it the right way,” Grzelcyk, who had a goal in the win, said. “We’re beating them on the scoreboard and not taking stupid penalties. Obviously, we got caught in the box too many times, but we responded the way we needed to. We played the right way for most of the game, it was a great effort.”

It’s unclear as of now how much time, if any Miller might miss. Obviously, head injuries are something to be careful with. The 33-year-old can rest assured though that for as long as he’s out — and even when he’s back — those he’s stuck up for across the years will do the same for him.

Thumbnail photo via Paul Rutherford/USA TODAY Sports Images
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