Mike Babcock, Drew Miller

After 12-game absence, Miller could return to Wings lineup on Saturday


Drew Miller hasn’t played since breaking his thumb against Vancouver on Apr. 20 but, if he’s ready to go for Game 2 on Saturday, Mike Babcock won’t hesitate to put him in the lineup.

“If Drew Miller is in a position to help our team, he’ll play,” Babcock told the Detroit Free Press after Friday’s practice.

Miller missed the final four games of the regular season and Detroit’s eight playoff contests thus far.

The speedy forward isn’t sure how much hand strength he’s recovered, but has been practicing and feels his skating is far enough along that he could help the Wings erase their one games to none series deficit against Chicago.

“I wouldn’t say it’s 100% percent, but I wouldn’t say it’s far off,” Miller said. “I think I can play. I’m comfortable with it. I thought practice today was the big step to see how it was. I got through practice and I felt fine and everything, I had no pain.

“I feel like I was able to perform what I need to perform to be able to play.”

Miller, normally a center, would draw into the lineup as a winger, according to Babcock. It’s likely one of Patrick Eaves or Todd Bertuzzi would be dropped, as both have been skating as fourth-line wings.

Miller had 4G-4A in 44 games this season and averaged close to 14 minutes a night. He’s coming off a solid 2011-12 campaign in which he posted career-highs in goals (14) and points (25).

Miller also has a wealth of playoff experience, having played 42 career playoff games. He also saw spot duty with Anaheim during the Ducks’ Stanley Cup victory in 2007.

Dropping like flies: Johnson, Killorn hurt in Bolts’ exhibition

Montreal Canadiens v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game One
Leave a comment

You probably know the drill: injury updates are murky in the NHL basically from the moment a puck drops.

We’ll learn more once the 2015-16 season begins, but at the moment, Saturday might have served as a costly night for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Both Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn went down with injuries stemming from a 3-2 pre-season win against the Florida Panthers.

“Guys were dropping like flies,” Steven Stamkos told the Tamba Bay Times.

These could be minor situations – just about any ailment will sideline a key asset this time of year – yet one cannot help but wonder if the Lightning might limp into this campaign.

Nikita Kucherov is dealing with his own issues, so that means at least minor issues for one half of the Bolts’ top six forwards.

It’s believed that more will be known about these banged-up Bolts sometime on Sunday.

Raffi Torres gets match penalty for being Raffi Torres

Raffi Torres

With knee issues still limiting him, Raffi Torres isn’t as mobile as he once was. Apparently he still moves well enough to leave the usual path of destruction.

It’s the pre-season, so it’s unclear if we’ll get a good look at the check, but Torres received a match penalty for his hit on Anaheim Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.

Most accounts were pretty critical of the San Jose Sharks’ chief troublemaker:

It’s too early to tell if Silfverberg is injured. If he is, that’s a significant loss for the Ducks, as he really showed signs of fulfilling his promise (especially during the 2015 playoffs).

As far as Torres goes, he’s hoping to play in the Sharks’ season-opener. Wherever he ends up, he’ll certainly make plenty of enemies on the ice.

Whether it was because of that hit or just the general distaste shared by those sides, it sounds like tonight’s Sharks – Ducks exhibition is getting ugly, in general:

This post will be updated if video of the hit becomes available, and also if we get a better idea of Silfverberg’s condition.

Update: Bullet dodged?