K’Andre Miller on COVID Protocol List, out for tonight


K’Andre Miller is a late scratch for tonight’s game at the Flyers. The rookie defenseman was added to the Rangers’ COVID Protocol List, joining Kaapo Kakko.

Obviously, that’s not good. Now, you have to be a bit concerned about the team. Already thin on players due to injuries to Jacob Trouba and Filip Chytil, who’s close to a return, the Rangers are also playing without Artemi Panarin until he gets things straightened out with his family back home. Hopefully, everything is okay.

Losing Miller means Jack Johnson gets back into the lineup. Hopefully, he won’t make any big mistakes that cost the team. What this means is the Rangers blue line is now relying on a bottom four of Brendan Smith, Libor Hajek, Anthony Bitetto and Johnson. Oy. I guess that means even more shifts for Adam Fox and Ryan Lindgren.

The thing is they also face the Bruins twice over the next four days. Once on Friday night and then at noon this Sunday. So, you hope Miller isn’t out for long. It doesn’t mean he’s positive for COVID-19. It could mean he was in contact with someone that was. So, they have to be careful and make sure. I’m sure he was tested. It really is a complicated process.

The game can be seen on NBC Sports Network. It’ll be interesting to see how the Blueshirts respond to this challenge. They’re already minus Panarin and Kakko, which means that David Quinn had to tweak the lines. Jonny Brodzinski is on the fourth line.

Igor Shestyorkin makes the start where he’ll oppose Brian Elliott as expected. The veteran netminder is starting for the Flyers due to Carter Hart’s struggles. He’s had some success against the Rangers. Philadelphia gets back Claude Giroux.

I’ll have more later.

About Derek Felix

Derek Felix is sports blogger whose previous experience included separate stints at ESPN as a stat researcher for NHL and WNBA telecasts. The Staten Island native also interned for or hockey historian Stan Fischler and worked behind the scenes for MSG as a production assistant on New Jersey Devil telecasts. An avid New York sports fan who enjoys covering events, writing, concerts, movies and the outdoors, Derek has covered consecutive Staten Island Yankees NY Penn League championships in '05 and '06. He also scored Berkeley Carroll high school basketball games from '06-14 and provided an outlet for the Park Slope school's student athletes. Hitting Back gives them the publicity they deserve. In his free time, he also attends Ranger games and is a loyal St. John's alum with a sports management degree. The Battle Of New York administrator and chief editor can be followed below on Twitter and Facebook.
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