The Eagle has landed. I report, The Eagle has landed.
After a week of heavy speculation and chaos on Twitter as it relates to Ondrej Kase’s health and preparedness for the playoffs, the Boston Bruins announced Saturday afternoon that the 24-year-old forward made it to Toronto and is practicing on-ice.
Kase was acquired by the Bruins at the trade deadline in a deal that saw veteran David Backes and the Bruins first round draft pick in 2020 head to the Anaheim Ducks. Although the trade was primarily a salary-dump opportunity for the Bruins, getting a young, offensive-potential threat in Kase excited both fans and the organization heading into the final few months of the regular season.
That being said, the global pandemic that has affected every aspect of the world has also impacted Kase’s ability to create chemistry with his new teammates – Nick Ritchie finds himself in the same situation. As a result of this, it has many questioning whether or not Kase should be quickly slotted-in to the lineup, or if young-gun Jack Studnicka should get an extended look heading into the postseason.
In the Bruins first exhibition game against the Columbus Blue Jackets, a game that most would like to forget, Studnicka remained the most-impressive player for the Bruins over the course of the three periods played. He earned himself another opportunity to compete, but with the log-jam of forwards the Bruins have that “deserve” opportunities in the playoffs, it will prove to be a difficult decision for Head Coach Bruce Cassidy and General Manager Don Sweeney.
Regardless of whether Studnicka gets the nod, or if Kase is slotted into the lineup – or even if the two switch on-and-off to compete for their position, it’s better to have an excess of talent than a lack of options.
The Bruins next game is August 2nd against the Philadelphia Flyers.