Canucks' Kesler has harsh words for Ladd Staff

1/24/2010 12:44:49 PM

Vancouver Canucks fans may want to circle March 5 on the calendar.

That's the next time their team faces the Chicago Blackhawks, who they handily defeated 5-1 Saturday night at GM Place.

It will also mark the first time the two sides meet following harsh words from forward Ryan Kesler towards Blackhawks winger Andrew Ladd.

''He's a coward and that's the way it is,'' Kesler told TEAM 1040 radio following Saturday's game.

Ladd got the best of Kesler in a fight in the first period, but the friction between the two dates back quite some time.

Kesler stated that Saturday's tilt was revenge for what he said was a hit from behind in last season's second-round post-season loss to the Hawks.

''It started last year in the playoffs,'' Kesler said. ''He hit me (and) cross-checked me in the face when I wasn't looking.

''At least he was man enough to hit me when I was looking this time,'' said the 25-year-old.

The rematch in March between the two rivals will also mark Willie Mitchell's first game back at the United Center since his open-ice hit on Jonathan Toews in October that left the Hawks' captain with a concussion.