Kukla's Korner Hockey

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Ryan Kesler On Playing Against The Top Players

12/20/2016 at 10:00am EST

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...

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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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