Ondrej Kase combining physical play with timely goals for the Leafs

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When the Maple Leafs signed Ondrej Kase in July, the pondering was that it’d finally change into a little bit of a steal if the ahead might hold his well being intact.


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We’re seeing that now, 16 video games into the 2021-22 season.

Not solely has Kase scored in three consecutive video games for the second time in his Nationwide Hockey League profession, the 26-year-old is offering the Leafs with a sturdy flavour every time he goes over the boards.

“You’ll be able to see his confidence persevering with to develop and he’s most likely simply feeling snug throughout the system, throughout the crew,” Leafs captain John Tavares mentioned.

“He’s beginning to get really feel for the way we play. He’s very artful with the puck, has a extremely good shot, launch.

“He’s competing extraordinarily arduous, he’s profitable a whole lot of 50-50 pucks, he’s placing stress on the opponent and that’s creating time and house for him. He’s contributing in a giant method.”


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Earlier than the Leafs performed in Buffalo on Saturday evening, Kase mentioned he felt he had been higher within the earlier seven video games along with his timing and normal stage of consolation.
Although coach Sheldon Keefe wasn’t thrilled with the best way his forwards carried out towards the Sabres — with an exception of the road of David Kampf between Pierre Engvall and Alex Kerfoot — Kase scored his fourth objective of the season within the second interval of the Leafs’ 5-4 win. The one different time Kase scored in three video games in a row within the NHL was in December 2017 when he was a member of the Anaheim Geese.

Kase performed in simply three video games for the Boston Bruins final season due to concussion points and was not certified by the membership within the low season.

The one-year, $1.25-million US contract that Kase has with the Leafs is evolving right into a discount for the crew.


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On the different finish of the spectrum is winger Nick Ritchie, who continues to contribute little.

Like Kase, Ritchie was not certified by the Bruins regardless of scoring a career-high 15 targets for Boston in 2020-21.

When Morgan Rielly scored the winner in Buffalo, that left two Leafs who’ve performed in all 16 video games — Ritchie and defenceman TJ Brodie — with out a objective.
Brodie isn’t paid to attain. Ritchie, who bought a two-year, $5-million contract with the Leafs, isn’t paid to fill the online each sport. However a objective or three by now would have been good, no?

As an alternative, Ritchie has been on the ice for only one Toronto objective at five-on-five, and hasn’t made an influence whilst Keefe has given the 25-year-old alternatives with the Leafs’ prime forwards and on the ability play.


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Ritchie has two assists. Contemplating his wages, that’s not almost ok.


We’re curious to see what the Leafs do with Joseph Woll following his 23-save win in his NHL debut in Buffalo.

With Petr Mrazek persevering with to nurse a groin harm and never anticipated again any time quickly, do the Leafs follow Woll because the backup to Jack Campbell, or summon Michael Hutchinson or Erik Kallgren from the Toronto Marlies and return Woll to the farm membership?

Keefe has mentioned all three goalies are an choice for the Leafs. With one other back-to-back set this coming weekend — the Leafs play host to Pittsburgh on Saturday and go to the New York Islanders on Sunday to start out a four-game journey — there’s going to be one other begin on faucet for the backup.


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Retaining Woll wouldn’t be the mistaken name. In his first NHL begin, there wasn’t a lot indication of nerves on the a part of the 23-year-old, who was composed all through the sport. Although he allowed two targets within the third interval, Woll remained within the correct way of thinking and noticed it via for the victory.


After getting Sunday off, the Leafs return to follow on Monday to start out making ready for a three-game dwelling stand, starting with a date with the Nashville Predators on Tuesday. The Predators will arrive in Toronto on a three-game profitable streak. It is going to be Nashville’s first sport at Scotiabank Area since Jan. 7, 2019. The Predators had been the Leafs’ scheduled opponent on March 12, 2020, the day the NHL shut down due to the pandemic … Rielly’s objective in Buffalo at 19:48 of the third interval was the second-latest game-winner by a Leafs defenceman in crew historical past. Matt Hunwick holds the document, scoring at 19:52 of the third in a 3-2 win in Philadelphia on Jan. 19, 2016. The Leafs document by any place is held by ahead Brian Bradley, who scored at 19:58 of the third in a 4-3 Toronto win over Detroit at Maple Leaf Gardens on Feb. 11, 1992 … Rielly, who leads Leafs defencemen in photographs on objective with 35, on scoring his first objective of the season: “I really feel like early on there have been loads of alternatives, couple of posts and stuff, but it surely’s about time. Good to get it off your thoughts.” … Winger Michael Bunting hopes his first objective in seven video games, coming within the second interval towards the Sabres, kick-starts a run. “It’s extra aid than something,” Bunting mentioned. “All it takes is one for that floodgate to open.”



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