from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
But you can safely predict how Tuesday night’s game will play out, with the United States trying to set a physical tone, and Kesler leading the charge.
Kesler is a latter-day Claude Lemieux, minus the over-the-top theatrics, and it’s what sets him apart the current generation of players labelled as pests and agitators. Because of their strength and size, guys such as Kesler don’t just dart in and out to raise Cain. They get in the middle of the scrums and stay there.
When the stakes were raised, Lemieux always stepped up his game – he was bull strong, hard to play against and loved to push the rule book to its absolute limit. And maybe push it a little past the limit if the referees’ eyes were averted.
It’s what made their villainy more nuanced, like Heath Ledger as the Joker.
They are not cartoon characters. They do the hard stuff too – win face-offs, block shots, kill penalties. They fully fit the old hockey axiom – love to play with him, hate to play against him.
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