Bruins forward Ondrej Kase’s comeback attempt was a short one, as the 25-year-old wing failed to make it through Monday’s meeting with the Islanders and was ruled out after the second period with an upper-body injury.
“He couldn’t finish the game, so that’s never a good sign,” Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy said when asked for a Kase update after the win. “Obviously, we’ll have a better feel in the morning. We’re kind of packing up, off to Washington tonight, so I’m sure we’ll chat on the plane, see where he’s at, but we won’t know much tomorrow.
“I don’t believe he’ll play tomorrow or travel with us if he couldn’t finish the game. But again, I haven’t been in the medical room since the end of the second period, so I’ll get an update. If not, then I’ll know more tomorrow.”
Skating on a line with Curtis Lazar and Jake DeBrusk, Kase’s first game since Jan. 16 got off to a solid start, with two shots, one hit, and a blocked shot in 6:49 of action. In fact, it looked like Kase ‘survived’ his first brush with real contact, too, as he was hammered by the Isles’ Adam Pelech on a shot but got up right and prevented the Isles from an easy zone exit.
It’s unclear if that’s how Kase suffered this latest ‘upper-body injury,’ but it’s worth mentioning that Kase did not go down the tunnel after that hit, and that he logged another two shifts (2:19 of ice time) before he was ruled out for the night.
And the obvious bummer with this news: “Upper-body.”
If this is related to Kase’s concussion woes, there’s almost no doubt that his 2021 season is over.
The Bruins have already been careful as can be when it comes to his recovery — and they outright considered getting anything from Kase to be a ‘bonus’ this season — and this setback would be enough for them to close the door on a potential return in 2021. With the way they’ve stressed Kase’s recovery and doing what’s best for him in the long term, there’s no way they’d even consider letting him get back on the ice and risking further long-term damage.
But this may be the end of Kase’s season even if it’s unrelated to the concussion woes, actually, as tomorrow will be the B’s final game of the regular season, leaving the Bruins out of ‘runway’ to get him up to playoff-level speed.
Kase, acquired from the Ducks in exchange for David Backes, prospect Axel Andersson, and a 2020 first-round pick, has totaled five assists in 20 appearances with the Bruins between the 2019-20 and 2021 regular seasons and 2020 postseason.
Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.