Boston Bruins

Apr 30, 2018; Tampa, FL, USA; Boston Bruins defenseman Kevan Miller (86) skates during the first period in game two of the second round of the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amalie Arena. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)

By Ty Anderson,

It’s almost Thanksgiving, and the Bruins have played the entire 2019-20 season to date without the services of veteran defensemen Kevan Miller (knee) and John Moore (shoulder).

Now, this isn’t exactly unexpected, as the Bruins had their own timelines for each player. And Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy provided an update on those timelines ahead of the team’s Saturday meeting with Minnesota.

Starting with Miller, it’s been a little bit since we’ve seen the veteran defender skating on his own either before or after practice at Warrior Ice Arena as he continues from a twice-broken kneecap, and that’s with the B’s being ultra-cautious following yet another setback for Miller in his comeback attempt.

“A little setback,” Cassidy said of Miller. “They wanted to hold him off. Don’t think it’s major, but again, I think from Day 1 we’re being really cautious at every turn. We don’t want him to go through what he went through last year.”

It was during last year’s postseason that Miller re-broke his knee-cap during his rehab attempts, effectively ending his season.

“The medical staff would rather him be truly 100 percent ready, everything, checked all the boxes,” Cassidy noted.

With Miller down, the Bruins have utilized Steven Kampfer as their No. 4 right-side defenseman, while Connor Clifton has suited up 20 contests this year, with two goals and a plus-4 rating on the year.

In the case of Moore, who is recovering from offseason shoulder surgery (he played through the injury during the Black and Gold’s run to the 2019 Stanley Cup Final), the Bruins were happy to see the 29-year-old back on the ice for Friday’s practice, but acknowledged that he’s still a few weeks away at least.

“He’s a little bit away,” Cassidy admitted. “He’s in a full jersey now, but we’ll talk about him more in a couple weeks.

“He’s not playing next week.”

With these players still down and out, the Bruins’ blue line depth has been tested, but it hasn’t prevented the Bruins from being one of the stronger teams in the NHL out of the gate, with an Atlantic-leading 14-3-5 record on the year.

Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.