How Don Sweeney Sees Ondrej Kase, Nick Ritchie Helping Bruins’ Playoffs


After coming up short in the Stanley Cup Final last year, the Boston Bruins are determined to get back there. And Bruins general manager Don Sweeney made it clear they’ll do whatever it takes.

The team made pair of trades with the Anaheim Ducks prior to the NHL trade deadline, acquiring Ondrej Kase in exchange for David Backes, a 2020 first-round pick and defense prospect Axel Andersson on Friday, followed by picking up Nick Ritchie for Danton Heinen on Monday. Although the Bruins GM is happy with what the team has been able to produce, he explained in Boston’s trade deadline press conference why complacency is not an option.

“I’ve been proud of our group. Where they were losing in Game 7 last year and where they are today, I think they should be proud of themselves,” he said, per the team. “But I do believe that this time of the year, if you have the opportunity to continue to look at areas you can improve your hockey club and add depth to your hockey club, you have to do that. …”

He noted that Boston has been a “fairly healthy group” thus far, and hopes the good health continues late into the season. But when it comes to strengthening the hockey club, he has one area of focus: secondary scoring.

“It was so valuable to us in the playoffs last year, and we believe that Ondrej will provide some of that and the speed element to his game, and now Nick on the other side to be able to compliment, hopefully. If he goes in and plays with Charlie Coyle, those are two big guys that are hard to contain. …

“But we have other players, as I said before, that are playing very well in Providence that come up (and) provide depth. Last few years, injuries have played a factor in every team?s playoff run, and they?ll play a factor in ours. … We have work to do to get there. We have a tough schedule coming up, and our team has put themselves in a position to hopefully take another run. But it?s one step at a time.”

The next step for the B’s will be getting Ritchie and Kase gelled with the team to continue building its momentum. Boston entered Monday atop the NHL rankings with 90 points at 39-12-12 and will look to stay there as the team hosts the Calgary Flames on Tuesday night at 7 p.m. ET on NESN.

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