Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

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


Nathan's avatar

This narrative is so annoying. Johansen has 3 points in two games, and Forsberg has added 2 goals. The top line has generated a lot of shots on goal and even more shot attempts, especially when out with Josi. Meanwhile, Kesler has an assist and is +1 with some hits and some blocked shots. He’s been absolutely great on faceoffs, but it clearly hasn’t been enough to stifle Johansen’s line. Kesler has certainly been good, but if we forget about Johansen’s chin music after game two and look at the freaking scoresheet, it’s clear who’s winning the battle after two games—the guy with a few points whose team stole home ice.

Of course, that can all change tonight. But the facts in front of us don’t exactly tell a story of Kesler getting Johansen off his game. You can be annoyed by a guy and talk shit about him, all the while still playing good hockey. These things aren’t mutually exclusive.

Also, uninteresting WCF? Come on, sour grapes much from up north? These teams deserve to be here. The Ducks shot it out with the Oilers and Getzlaf has been his best self. The Preds have clearly been the best team in the playoffs to this point. Their first two lines and active D have pushed the pace hard and it has been some of the only fun-to-watch hockey I’ve seen this year.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 05/16/17 at 08:31 AM ET


These hockey writers keep saying, “The game’s fans want to see the NHL in the Olympics.” I may be in the minority but I am one hockey fan who does not want the NHL in the Olympics. I hate going to a game to watch tired players get injured due to a compressed schedule so the players can get another trophy for their legacy. They make millions of dollars, signed a contract to play for a team but think they have a right to play in the Olympics. I for one like to see college and junior players in the Olympics. The most celebrated Olympic win was the “Miracle on Ice” by a group of kids. Young guys playing for their country, the way it should be not greedy overpaid NHLers.

Posted by Puckbubba on 05/16/17 at 08:59 AM ET

Add a Comment

Please limit embedded image or media size to 575 pixels wide.

Add your own avatar by joining Kukla's Korner, or logging in and uploading one in your member control panel.

Captchas bug you? Join KK or log in and you won't have to bother.


Notify me of follow-up comments?


Most Recent Blog Posts

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