Miletic Week-to-week After Hit
WILKES-BARRE — Even Penguins forward Anthony Angello said the hit looked completely harmless. Unfortunately, he added, “the biggest impact came from it.”
He was referring to the check along the boards by Hershey’s Connor Hobbs on Saturday that knocked Wilkes-Barre/Scranton rookie Sam Miletic out of the game in the second period. The team returned to practice Tuesday at the Toyota SportsPlex without the Michigan native, and head coach Clark Donatelli said Miletic’s status remains “week-to-week” as the result of his upper-body injury. He did not rule out a return for Miletic, but it would make little sense to rush him back into the lineup this early in the season if he isn’t fully healthy.
As a result, the Penguins will be taking the opportunity to experiment with different line combinations over the next couple days.
“We’re not sure if (Miletic’s) going to be available here this week,” Donatelli said. “We might have some other guys coming back into the lineup, so if he’s not going to play, we’ll definitely have some options.”
The one name he mentioned specifically is forward Jarrett Burton, who has been skating with the team over the last week after an injury kept him out of training camp and the first few games of the season.
Burton doesn’t necessarily have the same offensive pedigree as Miletic, but the 27-year-old’s production has increased each year since his team debut in 2015-16 and he’s proven himself a reliable penalty killer. He would fit in well among the bottom six.
Angello’s return last week gives the Penguins another opportunity to tinker, as they could decided to reunite his line with Sam Lafferty and Zach Aston-Reese from the beginning of the month. However, Adam Johnson played his best game of the season last Friday with Angello and Garrett Wilson accompanying him.
No matter what they decide to do, Angello said he and the team will be ready for Hartford on Friday.
“I’ve liked both lines that I’ve played on so far, and we’ve had good chemistry,” Angello said. “It doesn’t change the way I play.”
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