The Toronto Maple Leafs’ newcomer Ondrej Kase is questionable for the game tonight against the New York Rangers. He was banged up blocking a shot in Tuesday’s game vs. the Nashville Predators. However, there were differing reports on the extent of his injury.
Another report suggested that Kase was evaluated and x-rayed after blocking the shot, but the results came back clear. That report suggested that head coach Sheldon Keefe had given Kase a day off for rest. Right now, the word is that Kase was held out of practice Wednesday; however, he could still be in the lineup against the Rangers.
Related: Oilers Wanted Maple Leafs’ Joseph Woll At Draft Says NHL Insider
Not the First Time Kase’s Been Hurt Blocking a Shot
After playing only three games last season with the Boston Bruins, it might have taken Kase a while to get off the mark this season, but he’s hit his stride recently. The Czech winger, who’s currently part of a shutdown third line with his childhood best friend David Kampf, is on a four-game point-scoring streak. During those games, he’s scored three goals and an assist.
In the tweet below, you can see Kase congratulate Kampf on his goal during the Predators’ game.
Kase Is a Tireless Worker on the Ice
One thing Maple Leafs’ fans have learned about Kase is that he’s constantly hard-working. He even works hard during every shift and drives the puck to the net consistently. Given his game, it isn’t unusual that Kase would be a bit banged up. Earlier in November, he was also questionable after blocking a shot last week in a game on November 8 against the Los Angeles Kings.
However, he played in the next game against the Philadelphia Flyers and scored a goal. That goal ended a five-game pointless streak. Given his history and the faith the coaching staff puts in him, don’t be surprised if he suits up against the Rangers.
Kase Seems to Have Settled into His Third-Line Role
Kase has four goals on the season. Given his offensive gifts and talents, there was some thought about moving him up to a top-six role. However, he’s proven to be so valuable partnering with Kampf in the shutdown role – which is something coach Keefe has been seeking for two seasons now, that there’s a good chance he’ll stay in that role.
Maple Leafs’ fans will see soon if Kase will be good to play. However, if he isn’t able to, it could be a chance for Kirill Semyonov to draw back into the lineup.
Related: Three Takeaways from Maple Leafs’ 3-0 Win Over the Predators
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November 18, 2021 at 7:11 am
Love the energy that Kase brings. Wish everyone would play like that, as if it’s your last shift you will ever play.
I do think he can play in the top six, but when you balance that with what he brings to the 3rd line and combo with his pal Kampf you cannot deny this natural fit.
Engvall is also doing well on that line and is building greyer chemistry. Also one of the leaf leaders in zone entry and puck retrieval since he is using his frame and skating more and more.
When Mikheyev comes back he could go onto the 3rd line and bring even more energy to a shutdown line. However I think that energy is best served in the top six as a different version of Hyman. Mikheyev can dig out pucks and cycle as well as anyone. Both Tavares and Matthews would benefit by having him.