CHB Countdown: Top 5 Reasons Why Keeping Ryan Kesler Was a Good Thing
There are no reasons. HAHAHA!
I’M KIDDING, of course. Chin up, kids. Sure, we’re all a bit shell-shocked at the events that have (or have not) transpired over the past two days but let’s take a deep breath and try to find a silver lining. I’m not going to talk about potential deals. I’m not going to talk about draft picks. I’m not going to talk about prospects, hearsay, speculation, fairy dust. I’m going to talk about what Ryan Kesler, personally, brings to a team with oh so many holes in it. Let me remind you that, without Kesler, this season would be toast. Tag on toe. But as slim as it seems, with him in the lineup, the Canucks still have a chance to make the big dance. I don’t know about you, but I will be clinging to the hope of playoffs until game 82 (or whenever they are mathematically eliminated). Kesler gives the Canucks a shot at least for the last few weeks of this season and if the time comes to move him later on, I look to the NHL entry draft. But that’s all in the distant future.
Kesler is here now and there are a number of reasons to be happy about this, despite what the critics may say. It should come as flattering and a testament to how good a player he is, that so much talk this deadline surrounded Kes. He’s here to stay (at least for now) and here are 5 reasons why that is a good thing for the Canucks.
5) His Penalty-Killing: Kesler established himself as a defensive forward long before he broke out as an offensive threat. A Selke award winner and one of the best two-way forwards in the league, his strengths lie on both sides of the puck. This shorthanded goal took place only a week ago proving this guy is still making an impact despite the recent drama.
4) His One-Timer: It’s no secret the Canucks have struggled mightily on the powerplay the last couple years. We’ve seen small measures of success when Kesler is near the point or in the slot tapping his stick for a one-timer. Here he absolutely destroys a puck top corner against San Jose in last year’s playoffs.
3) His Hitting: When Kesler gets angry he likes to through his big frame around, and with his speed and size, he can do some pretty good damage. Playoff time is where you really see Kesler let loose. Case and point: Niklas Hjalmarsson pasted into the glass, 5 feet in the air.
2) His Wrist-Shot: One of the reasons Kesler scored 41 goals in 2010-2011 was that no one knew about his wrist shot. He was able to walk across the blue-line and surprise goalies from far out with a blistering wrister. Now they know better, but he still puts away 20+ goals every year with this bad boy.
1) His Tenacity: This guy plays with an edge. The biggest reason why Kesler was such a sought after commodity was that he plays with some playoff-attitude night in and night out. He sticks up for his team and doesn’t shy away from the gritty aspects of the game.