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Ryan Kesler had his fair share of critics last night

Apr 12, 2012, 10:35 AM EDT

Wednesday’s 4-2 loss to Los Angeles was a tale of two games for Vancouver’s Ryan Kesler.

The good? He absolutely stuffed the stat sheet: 23:08 of ice time, two assists, plus-1 rating, three hits, a shot on goal and 15-for-27 in the faceoff circle (56 percent).

The bad? Kesler often looked like he was up to his old antics. He was yapping, complaining, working officials for calls and embellishing to draw penalties…all of which were on display during this third-period sequence:

The reaction to Kesler’s antics drew plenty of vitriol on the Interweb:

Damien Cox, Toronto Star: “God, does Kesler have no shame? That mid-ice dive to try and draw a penalty was pathetic. And didn’t work.

Elliotte Friedman, CBC: “Would not be surprised if we see a different Kesler in Game 3. He’s not going to get a call if this continues.

Dave Stubbs, Montreal Gazette: “Kesler dive last night? Over-rotation, poor entry. #London2012”

John Beattie, Boston Globe: “It was Habs-esque embellishment by Ryan Kesler in the third period, tied 2-2, that would make even the softest soccer fan cringe.”

Kesler’s antics were kind of stunning, given he spent most of last season vowing to cut the extra-curricular stuff out of his game.

“You try to get other people off their game by talking and things like that, but for me, though, I wasn’t focusing on what I do best, and that’s be a solid, two-way player,” he said in Jan. 2011. “I’m focused more. From whistle to whistle, I play hard and let that other stuff go by the wayside.

“We, collectively and as a group, wanted to mature. I’m just doing my part.”

PHT Related

Kings’ Twitter mocks Kesler, implies most Canadians want Canucks to lose

  1. Chainsaw Al Breer - Apr 12, 2012 at 10:58 AM

    Same old Kesler, always cheating.

    • nobandwagoners - Apr 12, 2012 at 11:56 AM

      I’m a Canucks fan and I didn’t like all the antics by Kesler. I want the Kesler from the USA Olympic team or last playoffs vs. Nashville; not this throw-back to his early days when he was trying to land a spot on the team.

      When Kesler sticks to playing whistle to whistle – like he had been for most of this year (haters: he has “cleaned up” his game this year) – he’s more effective, in my opinion. Then he goes and pulls what he did last night with Richards in trying to draw a penalty and, bam, there goes his reputation again right back to the haters’ camp.

      Hopefully AV has a word with Kesler and Kesler channels his efforts better.

      • thatsdoinit - Apr 12, 2012 at 2:34 PM

        Nice to see a Canuck fan who doesn’t wear blinders. I can respect that. What’s right is right.

        Unfortunately, there are way too many idiots who cheer for your team, and everyone wants to paint you all with the same brush.

        Your screen name is fitting as well.

  2. tarotsujimoto74 - Apr 12, 2012 at 10:58 AM

    I like how he skated through the crease, interfering with Quick (which resulted in a goal) but also pretended that he got high sticked by Quick.

    • jballzz2001 - Apr 12, 2012 at 12:11 PM

      The contact was outside the crease

      • hockeyflow33 - Apr 12, 2012 at 1:13 PM

        It wasn’t and goaltenders still have the right to make a save without being bowled over

  3. dolanster - Apr 12, 2012 at 10:59 AM

    Love the jerk-me-off hand gesture by Doughty during the ref discussion bit.

  4. biffnasty - Apr 12, 2012 at 10:59 AM

    Must be taking lessons from Cindy Crosby

  5. danohalloranisahatchetman - Apr 12, 2012 at 11:00 AM

    Anyone else getting sick of referees making playoff games all about them?

  6. rob1986s - Apr 12, 2012 at 11:00 AM

    The whole game was embarrassing from a Canucks fan’s perspective. They couldn’t maintain possession in the zone, couldn’t win puck battles consistently, LA was running them over, their powerplay was pathetic, Kesler, Luongo and Henrik embellishing to get penalties…

    It would’ve been a bloodbath if not for Luongo.

    • cableguymike - Apr 12, 2012 at 11:40 AM

      The Lou “embellishment” was not an embellishment. He took a stick to the chest. Not sure how they justified not calling Richards for continuing to dig after the whistle there and then call Kesler for the snow job other than it was a make up call for the 1st Canuck goal.

      All in all, lots of phantom calls both ways ruined the enjoyment of this game. Disgraceful.

      • rob1986s - Apr 12, 2012 at 12:03 PM

        Yes he got speared by the LA player but not hard enough to be sent flying into his own net. He exaggerated the infraction to draw a penalty. Textbook embellishment.

      • cableguymike - Apr 12, 2012 at 12:15 PM

        I haven’t heard a lot of people comment on Quick’s “embellishment” when he was brushed by Kesler on the first goal.

      • pchow - Apr 12, 2012 at 12:31 PM

        @cableguymike and @rob1986s you ever wear goalie gear before or even lace up skates before? You have minimal protection in the neck region and that’s where the stick was.

        He wasn’t trying to embellish that he was being pushed into the net, he was getting away from sticks jabbing into the neck region which is an acceptable move.

        Let’s see what you do if I jam my stick into your neck area?

      • davebabychreturns - Apr 12, 2012 at 12:35 PM

        LOL. Love how cableguymike points out an instance of embellishment by each goaltender – and the total free pass the non-Canuck has gotten – and gets a bunch of thumbs down for it.

      • cableguymike - Apr 12, 2012 at 12:37 PM

        Hey pchow, I’m on your page. If you do that to a normal skater you’d get tossed. Do it to a goalie and he’s embellishing.

      • elehcdn - Apr 12, 2012 at 3:26 PM

        Maybe Lou would have gotten more respect if he had fallen back when he got “speared” as opposed to doing so 2 seconds later. Lou was committed to making that play (as was Richards), but then flailed after that to try to draw the penalty – he’s not going to get a call when he does that crap.

      • cableguymike - Apr 12, 2012 at 4:13 PM

        Actually, watch the close up replay sometime. The momentum of the stick pushes him back. Or just ignore it and believe what you want. Don’t think you have any interest in changing your opinion based on visual evidence so it might just be a waste of your time.

  7. bennywisest - Apr 12, 2012 at 11:02 AM

    Crosby would have drew the penalty, up your game Kesler!

  8. nhbsfan - Apr 12, 2012 at 11:04 AM

    I love the hit on Burrows by Richards even more…

    • Chainsaw Al Breer - Apr 12, 2012 at 11:08 AM

      Agreed. Surprised he didn’t try to take a bite out of him on the way by.

    • govtminion - Apr 12, 2012 at 11:09 AM

      I hadn’t seen that one. Squared his shoulders to Burrows, never left his skates- that’s a textbook hard hit. Very well done.

      And doing it right in front of the Canucks bench with only seconds left in the game sends a pretty good message as well.

    • dolanster - Apr 12, 2012 at 11:12 AM

      Boom. Bring the nasty. Let’s do this thing!

    • dipthatchip - Apr 12, 2012 at 11:23 AM

      after Richards’ blatant boarding on Couture in the final Sharks-Kings game, I lost a bit of respect for him, but damn he played a hell of a game last night

  9. oscojoe - Apr 12, 2012 at 11:15 AM

    No surprise here, The Canucks are the Canucks, Should we expect anything different?

  10. rwmilli - Apr 12, 2012 at 12:04 PM

    Anyone else want to jump on the bandwagon? Ill admit it was an embarrassing performance, but as for ” Canada ” wanting them to lose, please go cry yourselves to sleep some more get the fact your clubs are a disgrace. An for all you madddd hating on the nucks for ” diving ” go look at some game tape of your own team, everyone does it, everyone trys to draw phantom penaltys, it’s part of EVERY teams game, if you haven’t figured that one out yet, shoot yourself for being an incredibly unintelligent hockey fan :) <3

    • dolanster - Apr 12, 2012 at 12:18 PM

      Keep rationalizing your team’s behavior that way if you must, but it’s simply not true that this is part of “every team’s” game. “Everyone” does NOT try to draw phantom penalties. Thankfully the league still has a majority of players who play like there’s no referee on the ice and you have to win battles on your own — like you’re playing pick up. When the NHL is dominated by soccer-style divers like Kessler then I’ll no longer be watching. I’d love nothing more than to see these cry babies eliminated in round one.

    • pepper2011 - Apr 12, 2012 at 12:47 PM

      yeah, NOT every team does it. you may have players maybe not be as strong on their skates as they normally can be; or put in off-balance positions, but really the Canadiens, Canucks and Penguins are notorious for diving. Flat out trying to cheat. I don’t see the Rangers, Bruins, Flyers, Redwings, Preds, Hawks or Blues pull that garbage> There is a reason you can’t win in the playoffs. – you don’t get those stupid calls in the playoffs – the refs are made aware of the guys that do that. The reason Sedin(s) get punched all the time in the playoffs with no call is because the refs have been show videos of them flailing around like a wish out of water when a guy barely touched him

      how can you respect that, really?

      • nuckss - Apr 12, 2012 at 6:03 PM

        23’s stick took out henrik’s left skate. That’s why.

      • pepper2011 - Apr 13, 2012 at 9:31 AM

        really? you are gonna go with that?

      • nuckss - Apr 13, 2012 at 1:33 PM

        Well, I’m not blind, so yes, I’m going with that.

  11. mgp1219 - Apr 12, 2012 at 12:39 PM

    Last night’s game just helped to solidify the hatred for that arrogant, diving, sissy-ass team, the Vancouver Cannots. This is why all the other teams in the NHL hate them as much as fans do.

  12. rwmilli - Apr 12, 2012 at 12:43 PM

    Like I said, if you don’t think all players embellish your not watching enough hockey….its part of every teams game. I’m not condoning it, I’m just not in denial like you clearly are. Watch some tape of this year and tell me which teams don’t try snaking the upper hand whenever possible. Anyone would do it to give their team a better chance at putting the puck in the net, just some are better at it than others…

    • mgp1219 - Apr 12, 2012 at 12:49 PM

      I’m sure players from every team have done it; however, the Cannots do it ALL THE TIME. It seems to be a part of their game plan every game. Either that or they really are soft. You tell me.

    • dolanster - Apr 12, 2012 at 1:19 PM

      Just not so. I’ve been watching hockey since Ken Dryden’s rookie year. There’s maybe a guy on every team, but some team culture’s don’t condone it. You don’t dive on some teams and have any respect in the room. This is obviously not the case in Vancouver, where diving has been elevated to a strategic art form. They are not the only ones who do it, but they are unusual in that their best players are the most blatant and frequent divers. It’s part of the team culture, and it’s obviously not disdained in the room (sadly).

  13. davebabychreturns - Apr 12, 2012 at 12:51 PM

    Ryan Kesler deserved the criticism. He had a good game but he could have been so much more effective.

    The Canucks as a team need to get back to the “whistle to whistle” strategy that served them so well last year.

    As for the orgy of scorn going on in the comments section in this and other posts involving the Canucks, what can I say. I hope the Canucks clean up their act but it’s nowhere near as bad as most here would like to claim, and frankly nothing they do will redeem them in the eyes of their detractors. So, f you guys right in the ear. :)

    • comeonnowguys - Apr 12, 2012 at 12:56 PM

      My ear is flattered, but otherwise occupied.

      • davebabychreturns - Apr 12, 2012 at 1:08 PM

        I’d have mine plugged too if I had to listen to Rozner/Rosenbloom.

  14. haterzgonahate - Apr 12, 2012 at 12:56 PM

    lol… looking real hard for the negative.. i watched the entire, what i saw was a playoff game with intensity and emotion.. tends to happen in hockey. 2 goals for the nucks, 2 points for Kesler.. that’s all that matters as far as i’m concerned.. good players tend to get criticized.

    that game was no different than the other games yesterday. put your shirts back on people.. your hate is showing.

    Kings played good and deserved the win… game 2 will be good! it’s still early people.. love all the haters calling the Canucks out after 1 game lol.

    hey look! the Penguins lost too!!

    • mgp1219 - Apr 12, 2012 at 1:06 PM

      I have no problem showing my hatred for the Cannots. They are a disgrace to sportamanship and playing hard and tough hockey. I have read from so many Vancouver defenders that they are the best team in hockey, with the most talent. If that is so, why do they feel the need to try to cheat all the time? Shouldn’t the fact that they are the “best, most talanted” team suffice and bring them to victory? You can’t have it both ways…So, you and Borrows can BITE ME!

    • davebabychreturns - Apr 12, 2012 at 1:07 PM

      Disagree. Kesler was too busy getting tangled up with Mike Richards when he should be blowing past him.

      The Canucks have a colossal speed advantage over the Kings (especially Canucks forwards vs. Kings D) and when you spend half the game yapping and slashing you can’t exploit that.

      If the Canucks have ambitions to go four rounds this year (instead of 3.5 like last year, or for that matter 2 or 1) they can’t have every series turn into a war. Grinding, plodding hockey works well for the Kings who have grit and big bodies. The Canucks can do it and they can beat them that way but they can also force the Kings to outskate them which suits the Canucks much more than the Kings.

    • pepper2011 - Apr 12, 2012 at 1:09 PM

      Pens are also soft and dive; funny how that happens. you also forgot to mention you won the presidents trophy. ahahahaha. Good players do get criticized – so do cheaters

    • thatsdoinit - Apr 12, 2012 at 2:31 PM


      Actually you should be more concerned about wins than how many points kesler got. Unless all that matters is your playoff hockey pool.

      Fans like you are one of the reasons people hate the Canucks. Complete homerism. Nothing wrong with what you saw? So you accept these ridiculous antics? Shenanigans like this bring shame to the organization, but I guess winning with honor, as hockey players should, is of no concern to you.

      But you probably think that the reason everyone hates the Canucks is because we are all jealous.

      • haterzgonahate - Apr 12, 2012 at 3:18 PM

        man you guys take everything so personally.. simmer down.

        no homerism here, as my team is approaching the first tee box.

        i guess people tend to see what theyre looking for… i’m merely looking for entertaining hockey and i got lots of it last night. 2 points for Kesler on the only 2 goals tells me he was productive.. what’s wrong with that? no pool (gambling problem lol).. i’d be furious with the other important elements of the team who never showed up.. not Kesler… every team does that crap this time of the year.. but i guess you guys only watched the one game last night.. fair enough.

        man.. if you ever met me in person, you wouldn’t be talking like that.. but whatever makes you feel like a big man.. or woman for that matter.

        enjoy the playoffs!!

  15. buckeye044 - Apr 12, 2012 at 1:03 PM

    Sedin is the one that should be taking the heat. He did a lot of standing and watching last night.

    • mgp1219 - Apr 12, 2012 at 1:08 PM

      Yeah, like when he hid behind Luongo during the minor dust up after Richards tried to pry the puck from under Luongo. So glad Marchand made a bobblehead out of him last SC finals. (or was it the other sister?)

  16. rwmilli - Apr 12, 2012 at 1:37 PM

    Yawn, #1 in the league two years in a row, that’s all I have to say. Every team has embellishers, don’t fool yourself. And as for your clip ^^^ what’s your team :) let me find a few for yah ! Just because your team doesn’t ” dive ” doesnt mean they don’t snap the head on a high stick…etc….stick with denial, the ” cannots ” are still finishing #1, what’s that make your teams :). LOVE the hate, and how
    Much you guys put into it, closet fans?

    • mgp1219 - Apr 12, 2012 at 2:08 PM

      Win a Cup and then you can say they finished # 1. Until then they are simply # 2.

  17. rwmilli - Apr 12, 2012 at 1:45 PM

    Whatever helps you guys sleep at night, even if it’s believing your precious team never attempts to draw penaltys

  18. crmgoodness - Apr 12, 2012 at 2:28 PM

    You are correct, teams draw penalties all the time by skating and working harder than their opponents, forcing them to hook, grab and slash…it’s the diving, embellishing and cheating that most (I guess not all) find distasteful and destructive to the league.

    I’m a Boston fan and I can tell you that Chara pulled a pretty crappy dive earlier this year and got roundly criticized for it in these parts. Even pom pom Jack gave him a soliloquy on the evils of his actions. So yes, other teams dive too, but not nearly to the embarassing extent that the Canucks do.

    Though contributing, I agree though that piling on the Canucks is getting a bit old. They are what they are and until the league addresses it by actually enforcing the embellishment and diving rules, they simply have no incentive not to continue the shameful stuff. Suspend a player or two (from any team) for conduct that is detrimental to the league when they are caught blatently faking and make a statement that it has no place in hockey.

  19. rwmilli - Apr 12, 2012 at 2:42 PM

    I don’t endorse the diving in any way, I just acknowledge that drawing penalty is a part of the game. Yeah the Canucks do dive a lot but it doesn’t change the fact take my team, just like if Boston were to you’d still be a B’s fan. And thank you I appreciate the fact that someone else realizes how old it is to whine and whine and whine about Vancouver, if they’re doing it so frequently don’t act surprised. As for your comment ^^ win a cup, I’m sure ones coming soon in the future, until then, lose sleep baby cuz were #1 back to back years.

    • back2backbees - Apr 12, 2012 at 3:33 PM

      Runner up to the CUP makes you 1st alright, 1st LOSER!!!

  20. pastabelly - Apr 12, 2012 at 4:19 PM

    Nobody really cares that the Canucks win Presidents Trophies and nobody hates them for that reason. It’s their antics and smugness on and off the ice that makes them hatable. It’s not as if Kesler is the only who pulls this crap out there either.

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