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Category: Anaheim-Ducks

Just What Ryan Kesler Wants

from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province,

While we contemplate a Nashville-Ottawa Stanley Cup final, here’s something else that is both rare and beautiful, the musings and meditations on the world of sports:

— This is the magic of Ryan Kesler. Hockey’s resident heel has managed to turn a mostly uninteresting Western Conference final into a blood sport between two bitter rivals.

Kesler, of course, is currently locked in mortal combat with Nashville’s Ryan Johansen, and while you can debate his effectiveness in shutting down the pride of Port Moody, you have to admit the matchup makes for great theatre.

In the Preds’ 5-3 loss in Game 2, the real stories were a subpar performance from Pekka Rinne in the Nashville net and another monster outing from the Ducks’ Ryan Getzlaf. Instead, the main talking point was the battle between Kesler and Johansen, which was highlighted by a head butt on the game’s opening faceoff, a Kesler elbow to Johansen’s melon that went unpenalized, a Johansen high-stick on Kesler that was penalized, and this post-game gem from Johansen.

“I’m just trying to go out there and play hockey and it sucks when you have to pull a stick out of your groin after every shift.”

You have to concede the man’s point.

Kesler, of course, is now the centre of attention in the series, which is exactly where he wants to be.

continued plus some Olympics talk...

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ryan+kesler

Ability To Bounce Back Defines The Anaheim Ducks

from Ereic Stephens of the OC Register,

More free form jazz than symphonic classical, the Ducks create, improvise and seemingly thrive amid the chaos.

Sure, they talk about following the plan and operating within the structure. But what if the plan goes awry and the structure breaks down in a matter of minutes? What do you do when what’s being engineered is dissonant and out of tune?

Adapt to the changing movements and believe in the finished product. Maybe the process to get there is messy. Just get there. And these are your Ducks, sitting even in the Western Conference finals with the Nashville Predators as the two prepare for Game 3 Tuesday night at Bridgestone Arena.

“That’s just it,” Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf said. “The group that we’ve come together here, we’ve tried to put that out of our mind. And I keep going back to it, but I think we’ve built it to where we are. We have that confidence in our room that we’re just going to keep the same mentality.

“We talk about it all the time. If we keep doing the same things, we’re going to get rewarded. Yes, at times it’s easier said than done. But our group — we have a belief that when we’ve done it in past. So you look back on those moments and it helps keep the group calm.”


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Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink

The Battles Between Ryan Kesler And Ryan Johansen

from Tim Campbell of NHL.com,

While the two centers were waiting for opening faceoff, Kesler used his stick to jab Johansen in the leg, knocking him off balance before the puck was dropped.

When it was over and the Ducks had a 5-3 victory to tie the best-of-7 series 1-1, Johansen was somewhat incredulous at Kesler's tactics.

Game 3 is at Nashville on Tuesday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVA Sports).

"I mean if I … he just blows my mind, watching what's going through his head out there," Johansen said. "Like his family and friends watching him play; I don't know how you cheer for a guy like that. It just doesn't make sense how he plays the game.

"I'm just trying to go out there and play hockey and it [stinks] when you've got to pull a stick out of your groin every shift."

Johansen was asked if he's encountered any other opponent who goes as far with defensive tactics as Kesler.

"Oh no. Not at all," he said. "He doesn't do anything that makes sense. He's just … he thinks he's getting under guys' skin, but he's just … I don't know what he's doing. Really, I can't even put a finger on it."


Below, watch Kesler and Johansen post-game...

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ryan+johansen, ryan+kesler

The Nashville Predators Look To Improve Defensively After Dropping Game 2 To The Anaheim Ducks

from Adam Vingan of The Tennessean,

The play of Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne this postseason has been inhuman.

He has been the team's unbreakable backbone during the playoffs, but he bent slightly Sunday in the Predators' 5-3 Game 2 loss to the Anaheim Ducks in the Western Conference finals.

“At the beginning of the game, it’s 2-0 (Predators)," said Rinne, who allowed a playoff-high four goals to send the series to Nashville tied for Game 3 on Tuesday. "But it’s a 60-minute game and it’s a good hockey team there."

To completely pin the loss on Rinne would be unfair, but he was average for the first time during the Predators' historic run....

"I thought that there was some saves that he made that were really good," Predators coach Peter Laviolette said. "There were a couple scrambles in front of the net where we can do a better job of tying up in front of him.

"Certainly the second goal, I think we can do a better job defensively. We’ve been pretty good in front of him. I think we could go back into Game 3 and look to be a little bit better defensively.” 


Game highligths are below...

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Open Post- Game 2 Western Conference Final

The Ducks need a win, they certainly don't want to travel to Nashvville down 0-2.

The comment section is yours.

Nashville @ Anaheim, NSH leads 1-0, 7:30 p.m., NBCSN, SN, TVAS

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink

The Anaheim Ducks Lose Game 1 To The Nashville Predators

from Mark Whicker of the OC Register,

Another Stanley Cup playoff train left the station at 6 p.m. Friday. The Ducks didn’t catch up to it until about 7:45.

That does not make the eventual 3-2 overtime loss to Nashville palatable or even acceptable, in Game 1 of the Western Finals.

But a tie game after 60 minutes looked like a fantasy after the Predators skated rings around the home team in the early going.

James Neal pulled it out for the Predators, now 9-2 in the playoffs, with a shot from the right wing in OT. It was set up by P.K. Subban’s shot fake and quick pass, and Neal, an elite sniper, let go of it before goalie John Gibson could get into position, with Corey Perry off-balance in front of him, and with both Ducks lacking sticks.

All three Nashville goals hit something or someone on the way to the net, and both Anaheim’s goals were clean shots — a howler by Jakob Silfverberg on the Ducks’ first shot of the game, and a goal to Rinne’s short side by Hampus Lindholm, after Nate Thompson won a faceoff.

read on

Watch the game winning goal and highlights below..

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Video- HNIC Opening Montage Western Conference Final

Very well done.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, Nashville Predators, NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, CBC HNIC, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Open Post- Game 1 Western Conference Final

Anaheim right back at it after beating Edmonton on Wednesday.  Nashville hasn't played since defeating St. Louis on Sunday.

It could be tired vs. rusty tonight.

Feel free to comment on the game.

Nashville @ Anaheim, Game 1, 9 p.m., NBCSN, CBC, TVAS

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Rested Or Not, The Anaheim Ducks Are Prepared For The Nashville Predators

from Eric Stephens of the OC Register,

Relief and joy do not have much shelf life in the Stanley Cup playoffs. The only time it does is when the silver chalice itself gets passed around from teammate to teammate.

The hurdle that Game 7 had become for the Ducks has finally been cleared. Smiles finally followed one. But all that Wednesday’s win over Edmonton did was lead them to another hurdle, maybe one that’s even tougher to scale and soar past. And it is one they know all too well.

Nashville is the opponent now. The team that handed the Ducks an unceremonious early exit from the 2016 playoffs and ushered a coaching change now stands in the way of them playing for the Cup for the first time since making it theirs a decade ago.

It never hurts for the playoff stew to have a dash of revenge mixed in.

“Yeah,” Ducks center Ryan Kesler said. “Obviously it’s a new year, new teams. For some of us, it means a little bit more. But we’re all playing for the same thing, and right now it’s about getting four wins before they do. And it’s going to be a tough road, but we’re up to it.”

The Predators meandered a bit to this point but the postseason has seen them become the team many made a sexy pick to come out of the Western Conference. Their take-notice sweep of Chicago in the first round opened a lot of eyes. It made them a believable Cup contender.

A solid six-game takedown of St. Louis made them a real one. Now they’re in the conference final for the first time in their 19-year history, with Game 1 on Friday night at Honda Center – a place that elicits no fear in them.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink

The Edmonton Oilers Received A Lesson On Learning How To Win

from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,

Sometimes, you just can’t put it any better than they do.

“I don’t think anyone thought we’d be here, one period away from the conference finals,” said Edmonton Oilers goalie Cam Talbot, after he’d rolled yet another heroic performance in a 2-1 Game 7 loss. “I’m proud as hell to be a part of this group right now and I’m looking forward to the future with this team.”

In a nutshell, right?

In their first Game 7 of their maiden playoff voyage after the Decade of Darkness in Edmonton, the Oilers simply weren’t ready to beat the Anaheim Ducks. There’s no shame in that — Anaheim is very good, mega-experienced, and has beaten this Edmonton team for fun for longer than most of these Oilers have been National Hockey League players.

When it was all on the line, and Team Canada veterans like Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry stared down the barrel of a fifth consecutive home-ice Game 7 loss, they simply refused to allow the narrative to continue. We should respect them for that — they’re too good to carry that yoke any further.

Anaheim was better Wednesday night, winning by a score that flattered Edmonton on the whole.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com


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