A couple days after watching Nick Ritchie make his Bruins debut on the TD Garden ice, new B’s teammate Ondrej Kase is set to make his debut for the Black and Gold on Thursday night against the Dallas Stars.
Kase has been out since Feb. 7 with what the Ducks called the “flu” and the Bruins have termed an upper body injury, but it was suspected to be a concussion suffered in a game against the Maple Leafs.
Kase said he “can’t wait for the game” after skating on a second line at morning skate with Ritchie on the left wing and David Krejci as the playmaking center during line rushes. It certainly should be a good match between a passer in Krejci and a shooter in Kase, but that will play out on the ice as it always does when Bruce Cassidy starts tinkering with his forward lines.
Ritchie and Kase played together quite a bit in Anaheim with Adam Henrique as center between the two wingers, and that should augment the chemistry between those two and Krejci in their maiden B’s voyage.
"What I’ve heard is they played together with Henrique in Anaheim and had some success. Sometimes having some familiarity right out of the gate’s not a bad thing, especially when we’re trying new lines,” said Cassidy. “Krejci is the one that will have the biggest adjustment because he’s got two new wingers. [Ritchie] is a big body on one side and Krejci is accustomed to that over the years. [Ritchie] is a guy that goes to the net and makes plays off the wall, and that’s one thing that he did well the other night.
"We’re not expecting instant chemistry. If we get it, then fantastic, and if we don’t then we’ll keep working on it.”
Jake DeBrusk will drop to the third line with Charlie Coyle and Anders Bjork in an intriguing combination, and it looks like Joakim Nordstrom, Anton Blidh, Connor Clifton and John Moore will continue to sit out against the Stars. Jaroslav Halak gets the start for the Bruins after he was honored prior to Tuesday night’s game for his milestone 500th start at the NHL.
Here are the projected Bruins line combos and D-pairings against the Stars based on morning skate at Warrior Ice Arena:
|Brad Marchand||Patrice Bergeron||David Pastrnak|
|Nick Ritchie||David Krejci||Ondrej Kase|
|Jake DeBrusk||Charlie Coyle||Anders Bjork|
|Sean Kuraly||Par Lindholm||Chris Wagner|
|Zdeno Chara||Charlie McAvoy|
|Torey Krug||Brandon Carlo|
|Matt Grzelcyk||Jeremy Lauzon|