Are you ready for a sentence I was not prepared to write ever?
Kevan Miller hasn’t been all that bad this year.
Yeah. I know. It’s weird. I felt weird writing it. But it’s true.
Having been hard-set on playing in the depth, Killer’s major faults (board battles, speed, weird pinching timing, board battles again, etc.) have largely been limited to minor moments in the middle of games that ultimately have not been soul-crushing for Boston. The Miller pairing has actually been quite good in the time they were allowed to play together.
Unfortunately, all those concerns Kevan Miller has, like being not-great at board battles, being somewhat slow, having a weird timer on when is the appropriate moment to pinch along the boards, and occasionally panicking in his own end have been issues that he’s not been able to completely exorcise from his game. On top of that, he’s begun to, and this is just the paranoid segment of my mind speaking, picking up the McQuaidish trait of getting injured and potentially missing significant time. Granted, his concussion appears to have subsided as he was a skating player on practice this monday, so maybe he’ll be just fine.
However, he has yet to complete an NHL season, so Kevan will have to try hard to make his impact worth the money Boston put into him going forward.
Again, he has been far and away better than the last couple of years for him, and most of his faults have been more or less successfully masked by both deployment and by his linemate. He still has many of the faults many fans revile him for, but this year he’s found a good balance in being a 3rd pairing shutdown defender.
Season CF% as of 1/23/17: 54.13%