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:
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.”