By: Craig Eagles | Follow Me On Twitter @Eags37
They say opposites attract. The same could be said about Jakub Zboril and Kevan Miller. The B’s defensive pairing might seem like an odd couple, but have they ever been a perfect fit for the Black and Gold.
There’s no question Miller is a perfect D partner for the B’s former 1st rounder. Zboril’s early success this season is due in large part to Miller’s leadership, calming and veteran presence.
It’s clear some of the best D pairings have always been polar opposites. Miller and Zboril are an extremely complementary pairing. Less is more when it comes to Zboril’s game. Miller’s accountability in all three zones has certainly provided Zboril with a much-needed surge of confidence.
The unlikely pairing read off each other very well and are moving the puck with efficiency and effectiveness. They will never light the world on fire offensively, but this pairing has arguably been the B’s best and most consistent so far. Chemistry is everything when it comes to finding the right defensive pairing.
Miller and Zboril have tons of chemistry, which has been a difference-maker for the offensively starved yet stingy defensive team. The unlikely dynamic duo have logged significant minutes in all situations for Bruce Cassidy so far this season.
Keeping Zboril’s ice time hovering around the 18-minute mark will serve the player and organization well. The young, highly touted rearguard tends to force the issue when he plays over 18 to 20 minutes a game. Like any young defender at the NHL level, Zboril has to understand when to pick and choose his places when jumping into the rush and handling the puck.
Cassidy has given Miller and Zboril an opportunity to play top-line minutes with the Bergeron line as of late due in large part to their mobility, decision making, and passing ability. The B’s bench boss has also given them many opportunities to start on offensive zone face-offs.
It’s evident that the B’s coaching staff has gained considerable trust in the Miller-Zboril pairing. Miller’s inspirational return to the B’s lineup from a series of possible career-ending injuries has certainly been a rallying point for the hockey club. An unlikely pairing has become a perfect fit for the Bruins.