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Ryan Kesler On Playing Against The Top Players

from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

I sat down with Kesler on Sunday afternoon and asked him to break down the top (mostly Western Conference) forwards he's routinely assigned to contain, and the challenges those star players bring:

Anze Kopitar, C, Los Angeles Kings

Kesler: "A guy who's good on both sides of the puck. He works hard, he has good vision and I feel that if he starts with the puck, he really likes to build speed through the neutral zone. He likes to get the puck in the middle of the ice and distribute from there. So, really just trying to stay above him in the neutral zone is what's key. And winning faceoffs."

Connor McDavid, C, Edmonton Oilers

Kesler: "He likes his neutral-zone play, he likes carrying the puck and getting there with speed. You've just got to stay close to him. He's so dynamic, he's so explosive -- you got to be above him all the time. He's going to get his chances, but that's when the whole line comes into effect. Just got to try and stay above him and be hard on him, make him hate playing against you. Stay close to him and really make that neutral zone tough because that's where he generates most of his offense, and on the rush."

eleven more players...

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


Primis's avatar

“I try to punch them, elbow them, or hit them from behind into the boards.”

Saved everyone a click.

Posted by Primis on 12/20/16 at 11:28 AM ET

hockeyfreak13's avatar

Mike Green, D, Detroit Red Wings

Kesler: “Real smooth skater so I try to launch myself recklessly at him to slow him down. Especially in the dying seconds of a game I know we’ll lose, you know, just to send a message.”

Wow, he was especially candid on that one.

Posted by hockeyfreak13 from Grand Rapids on 12/20/16 at 01:04 PM ET

bigfrog's avatar

The Red Wings need Ott to take of him when the Red Wings play at Anaheim on January 4th. angry

Posted by bigfrog on 12/20/16 at 06:37 PM ET

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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.

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