NHL

McKenzie: Kesler is key to the Canucks' success

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Bob McKenzie
5/2/2011 2:51:26 AM
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Some thoughts from the NHL on TSN panel on Sunday

You look at that zero beside Ryan Kesler's name and think: Are you kidding me, he doesn't have a goal in the playoffs? 

Despite that fact, he's really played well and I thought he was the reason the Vancouver Canucks got past the Chicago Blackhawks. 

He set the tone in Game 7 and although Burrows was the offensive hero, Kesler was the engine driving the effort. 

In game two of their second round series with the Canucks, the Predators were able to carry the game except for when Kesler was on the ice. 

Even though he doesn't have a goal and was on the ice for the game winner, he is the guy driving the Canucks' bus. 

Kevin Bieksa is another player I was thoroughly impressed with in the Game 2 loss.

He was a physical presence and he tried to be a difference maker every time he was on the ice. 

Some of the other members of the Canucks need to take a page out of that book.

The Sharks are proving to be a bad matchup for the Red Wings

The first two games of the series between the Red Wings and Sharks have made this look like a bad match for Detroit, but they will have the chance to turn that around on home ice. 

There is a physical mismatch going on and it involves the Sharks dominating the action by putting the game on the wall, even with their fourth line on the ice. 

They are winning battles, getting to every puck and physically dominating, that just wears a team like the Red Wings down.

It looked like men against boys for much of the hockey game.

It's like a good ground game in football, where you have the other team's defence on the field for the whole game and you're wearing them down.

The Red Wings have to make some big adjustments to get this game off the wall and back into open ice.

Ryan Kesler (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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