Sunday Skate: Will Ondrej Kase put the Bruins ‘over the top’?

Matt Kalman
February 23, 2020 - 6:14 pm

With a little more than 24 hours before the NHL trade deadline on Monday, the Sunday Skate guys devoted the bulk of this week’s episode to new Bruins acquisition Ondrej Kase.

The right wing was acquired from Anaheim on Friday in exchange for David Backes, prospect Axel Andersson and a first-round pick in 2020.

Co-hosts Matt Kalman and Ken Laird were skeptical about the trade because of Kase's concussion history (six or seven in four years) and his lack of production (seven goals in 49 games this season).

“I’m on record as being a Don Sweeney fan. I think he’s the best GM in town. But if this is it, I don’t get it. Explain to me why Kase is the guy that’s going to put the Bruins over the top in 2020,” Laird said.

Co-host Pete Blackburn came to Kase and Sweeney’s defense.

“I love the deal because you used your first-round pick, you got out of the Backes contract and you get a really, really good player,” Blackburn said. “Kase is a really good player. His numbers don’t jump off the page but that’s because he’s been playing on a very bad Anaheim team that doesn’t score a lot of goals.”

Kalman wondered why if Kase is so “really, really good” the rebuilding Ducks would get rid of him.

“I think the health issues are probably part of it and also you get a first-round pick,” Blackburn said.

Laird continued to push, pointing out that “he has, on the year, nine hits. Fifth fewest in the league. Nine.

“He has also, a shooting percentage, maybe this is an anomaly, maybe he plays on a terrible team and that’s’ the explanation, but he’s scoring at a 4.9 percent clip … he has concussion issues, he isn’t hitting anybody …”

Blackburn interjected the a low shooting percentage was a positive sign.

“If your shooting percentage is below league average and he still has seven goals … if your shooting percentage is that low and you still are scoring, that’s a good sign,” Blackburn said. “Because the shooting percentage will come up. So like I’d be concerned if he has seven goals and his shooting percentage was pretty high.”

We won’t know if Kase’s addition was a win until after he gets into the lineup. But will he be the only Bruins addition before the deadline? The Sunday Skate dug into who might else be coming to Boston – Joe Thornton? Brandon Saad? – and also debated whether the Bruins still have the assets to acquire someone like Chris Kreider or Kyle Palmieri.

Turning away from the Bruins, the guys also took some time to ridicule the Toronto Maple Leafs for losing to David Ayres, an emergency goalie and Zamboni driver.

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