Let’s be frank here: Nathan Horton is not walking through that door. Jarome Iginla isn’t walking through that door.
No, if the Bruins are going to revive their dormant second line and find an offensive conduit to pair next to David Krejci this postseason, Bruce Cassidy and his coaching are going to have to make do with what they have currently have on this roster.
So far, the results so far in Phase 4 — following what has been a recurring trend all season — have not yielded much in terms of encouragement.
Whether it be Jake DeBrusk, Nick Ritchie or Karson Kuhlman, the B’s have been hampered by a dormant top-six unit, with the B’s out-attempted (29-19), outshot (18-10) and outscored (1-0) in Krejci’s 26:46 of 5v5 ice time so far during round-robin play.
But come Sunday, the Bruins are expected to roll out their ace in the hole — or, well, that was the expectation going into Ondrej Kase’s arrival in Boston.
A speedy winger that’s at his best when frequently peppering the net, Kase is ideally exactly what a team like Boston is looking for in a viable top-six winger, especially when paired next to a playmaker of Krejci’s caliber.
The only problem? Boston hasn’t exactly been afforded a long look at their shiny new weapon up front.
Whether it be due to the NHL’s months-long pause, or the valuable time lost in Phases 3 & 4 due to Kase’s “unfit to participate” designation, Kase is still quite the unknown when it comes to what to expect from the Czech product on the ice, especially when logging minutes next to the likes of Krejci or even Charlie Coyle.
And yet, even with just six games of experience under his belt with Boston — that last outing coming back on March 10 — the onus now falls on Kase to serve as Boston's last great shot at getting that second line rolling again.
No pressure, bud.