Matt Duchene elbowed Ondřej Kaše in the head back on March 19th (no penalty, no suspension), knocking the Toronto Maple Leafs winger out and forcing him out of the game. After over six weeks out, Kaše will be making his return to the Leafs lineup, in Game 1 of the playoffs of all days.

Ondřej Kaše out after Duchene elbow to head, Leafs lose
Maple Leafs Pre-Playoff Practice Report

I don’t think anyone expected Kaše to come back this season, and some thought that was his career done. He’s had so much history with injuries, especially concussions, and you never really know what can happen with a concussion.

Kaše is going to bring a boost to the Leafs starting tonight, especially with Michael Bunting out. His energy and scoring touch make the Leafs that much more deep and that much more dangerous.

Expected lineup with Kaše in

Alex Kerfoot - Auston Matthews - Mitch Marner
Ilya Mikheyev - John Tavares - Ondřej Kaše
Pierre Engvall - David Kämpf - William Nylander
Kyle Clifford - Colin Blackwell - Wayne Simmonds

Morgan Rielly - Ilya Lyubushkin
Jake Muzzin - TJ Brodie
Mark Giordano - Timothy Liljegren

Jack Campbell
Erik Källgren

I would still like Mikheyev and Nylander to swap spots, but that’ll be a topic for another day.

Kaše of Highlights