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Miller Was Nearing Return to Game Action

Blue liner missed final seven games of postseason with concussion

by Eric Russo @erusso22 /

BOSTON - Kevan Miller said he likely would have been cleared to play if the Bruins had forced a Game 7 against the Islanders. The blue liner missed the final seven games of the postseason after suffering a concussion on a high and heavy it hit from Washington's Dmitry Orlov in Game 4 of the first round.

"Skated with the guys on Tuesday, then took the impact test Wednesday and was cleared for contact Thursday," said Miller. "I would have been good to go for Game 7…it doesn't get any easier, that's for sure. It's a tough pill to swallow. You want to be out there. Been down that road, unfortunately.

"I was super close to being back, most likely would have played in Game 7. That just makes it even worse, to be honest with you. It's not good."

Miller, of course, has gone through a tumultuous 24 months after missing Boston's 2019 run to the Stanley Cup Final and all of last season due to knee surgery. The 33-year-old worked his way back for this season and suited up for 28 games, while taking time for maintenance on the knee during the middle of the year.

"It weighs on you, it's not easy," said Miller. "You want to be out there with the guys and helping them win. I think I could have helped. Just get one more game. That's how it goes sometimes. That's hockey. That's life. Just have to turn the page.

"Obviously, you want to play every game you can. That was my goal this year, it didn't happen. I got some good hockey in, and I really was holding out for as much as I could for the playoffs."

Given the grind of the past few seasons and the toll - both mentally and physically - the injuries have taken on him, the unrestricted free agent said he will take him before deciding whether he will continue his career.

"It's something I'll go home and have a conversation with my family about," said Miller. "Haven't seen my kids for a while. I want to spend time with them, my dad and my mom. We'll go from there. I haven't really put too much thought into it, honestly."

Video: Kevan Miller Addresses Media on Breakup Day

Carlo Making Progress

Like Miller, Carlo was sidelined for the remainder of the postseason by a heavy hit. The defenseman slammed his head into the glass after being checked by the Islanders Cal Clutterbuck in the third period of Game 3 and did not return to the series.

Carlo, who called it a "great hit" and did not have any issues with Clutterbuck on the play, said he was still going through concussion protocol and is unsure if he would have been cleared in time for a Game 7.

"Definitely questionable if I was able to make it through the protocol steps," said Carlo. "That's what we were working towards, but I'm not sure with how I was feeling on the ice that day that I skated - just from dizziness and whatnot from the hit - how that would have gone.

"Overall, I'm feeling very good off the ice. I went and saw one of the specialists here and kind of did some stuff. I feel like the dizziness is starting to subside. Feeling good and encouraged that with this time off I'll be more than 100% going into camp and everything.

"It's obviously disappointing, but not sure if I would've been able to make it in there just with the protocol steps."

Video: Carlo talks on Friday morning at Warrior Ice Arena

Bergeron Feeling Fine 

Despite dealing with a chronic groin issue for the last several years, Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron said it "held up fine this year, which is great news." Bergeron will be entering the final season of his eight-year, $55 million contract and said he is not yet sure how long he wants to continue playing.

"I feel fine. Obviously, the usual aches and bruises of a season and playoff hockey," said Bergeron. "I'll take it a year at a time and see how my body feels."

Video: Bergeron Addresses Media on Breakup Day.

Smith Battled Through

Smith revealed that he played through a right groin injury in the second round. The winger, who will not need surgery, missed just one game, Game 2 against the Islanders, and finished his first postseason in the Spoked-B with two goals and five points in 10 games.

"I thought our [medical staff] did the best they could there," said Smith. "It was obviously short timing and working a lot of times in between games to get things back to where we want them. But we had a couple of days, we took care of it. We were able to manage it from there on out."

Video: Smith talks to media on Friday morning at WIA 

Kampfer Recovering from Surgery

Steven Kampfer missed the postseason after undergoing surgery to repair a torn ligament in his hand. The veteran blue liner played with the injury for some six weeks after taking a hit in early March, before it became too much to play through.

"I got a cortisone shot in it to hopefully alleviate the pain and then we moved forward. The pain came back and it was to the point where I couldn't play," said Kampfer. "I couldn't handle a puck. I couldn't shoot pucks in practice, and it was tough. It's tough for any player because you don't want to take yourself out of an equation.

"You don't want to have surgery when you're getting to that point of the season. It got to the point where we sat down with the trainers and the surgeon and it was the best thing that we could do moving forward."

Kampfer, an unrestricted free agent, is not sure if he will be back for a sixth season with the Black & Gold.

"I want to play hockey, obviously. Regardless of where that is, I want to play," said Kampfer, who denied reports that he had signed a contract in the KHL for next season. "I think I have a lot of hockey left in me. I think what happened this year…it was unfortunate. I think the hardest part for me was I was playing, and I was playing well, then I had surgery.

"I don't think I wanted to have surgery. When you tear a ligament in your hand, you have to have surgery and that's what it came down to. It was unfortunate. We're going to get that taken care of and move forward and go from there."

Video: Steven Kampfer Addresses Media on Breakup Day

Lazar Sprained MCL

Curtis Lazar missed Game 6 against the Islanders with a sprained MCL and bruised ACL, which he suffered on a collision with the Islanders Adam Pelech in Game 5 at TD Garden.

"We feared the worse, we got the best news possible in that situation. But still, it sucks sitting out that last game," said Lazar, who will not require surgery. "I'll be good to go in about a week's time, I guess."

Video: Curtis Lazar Addresses Media on Breakup Day

Lauzon Donned Splint

Jeremy Lauzon said that he had surgery on his right hand after blocking a shot in Game 1 against Washington. The 24-year-old blue liner returned for Round 2 and played all six games against the Islanders while wearing a splint.

"Obviously, I don't think it was at 100 percent," said Lauzon, who also missed time earlier in the season with a broken hand that required surgery. "It was good enough for me to be able to play and play hard. Obviously, it wasn't an injury that will make me not play in playoffs. I wanted to help my team win every night, so I battled through that. Overall, the hand felt sore, but it was good enough for me to play."

Video: Lauzon talks on Friday morning

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