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

May 17, 2013, 8:07 PM EDT

Mike Babcock, Drew Miller AP

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.

  1. bensawesomeness - May 17, 2013 at 9:02 PM

    anybody heard anything about Helm? or why they’re not playing Tootoo?

    • eonbluekarma - May 18, 2013 at 10:03 AM

      helm has contracted Derrick rose syndrome.

  2. mydoglouie - May 17, 2013 at 10:18 PM

    Tootoo is of no value on a post season roster.

  3. polegojim - May 17, 2013 at 11:39 PM

    Good news! With his speed, he only needs to pass, nothing too hard or strenuous on the thumb.

    Actually Louie, TooToo would be better than Smith… put him on D.

    • eonbluekarma - May 18, 2013 at 10:01 AM

      You’re a troll. Smith had 1 bad game. If he has another today, then maybe put white in. Lashoff was awful in the games he has played. Losing dekeyser is going to hurt more this round than last though.

      • polegojim - May 18, 2013 at 10:26 AM

        Please….Smith has had MANY MANY bad games, turnovers, scoring on his own goalie because he was out of position… the guy is a 5th or 6th liner at best.

        Oh… and I live here. Who are you? Go back under your bridge….

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