Tom Szczerbowski/USA TODAY Sports

Bruins notes: Miller set to return; McAvoy, Vaakanainen closer

Matt Kalman
November 19, 2018 - 5:27 pm

The reason Bruins general manager Don Sweeney didn’t spring into action and start trading for defense help or begin claiming any defenseman with a pulse after Boston’s list of injured blueliners hit six was because most of the players who’ve been out are expected to return within a reasonable amount of time.

It sounds like the Bruins will get the first of those injured defensemen back in the lineup Wednesday, when Kevan Miller is expected to play in the Bruins finale of their four-game road trip at Detroit. Miller has been out since he sustained a hand injury blocking a shot Oct. 18 in Edmonton.

Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said Miller will be a game-time decision. But barring a setback Miller, who had one assist in seven games before his injury, will give the Bruins a much-needed dose of toughness and veteran savvy at 5-on-5 and on the penalty kill. He’s been traveling the team throughout its 1-1-1 road trip.

Another positive note when it comes to Boston’s injured defensemen: Cassidy said Charlie McAvoy and Urho Vaakanainen, who have been skating and working out within the NHL’s concussion protocol, will join the Bruins in Detroit for a practice on Tuesday. McAvoy hasn’t played since Oct. 18 and Vaakanainen has been out since his second NHL game on Oct. 23.

The Bruins were off Sunday and didn’t skate Monday while in Arizona after their 2-1 win against the Coyotes on Saturday.

John Moore (lower body) and Patrice Bergeron (upper body) were sent back to Boston over the weekend to be re-evaluated and neither will be joining the Bruins in Detroit. Brandon Carlo (upper body) is also out and Zdeno Chara (left MCL) won’t be re-evaluated for four weeks.

Related: Kalman: What Chara’s upcoming absence really means for Bruins