Ryan Kesler has lost some big games in his career.
He was on the United States team that lost to Canada in the gold-medal game of the 2010 Winter Olympics.
He was on the Vancouver Canucks team that lost to the Boston Bruins in Game 7 of the 2011 Stanley Cup Final.
But apparently neither of those losses were as bad as the one his Anaheim Ducks experienced on Monday.
“This was the toughest loss of my career,” Kesler said of losing Game 6 of the Western Conference Final to Nashville. “This stings. It still stings. We left everything out there.”
Kesler had a particularly tough game, finishing minus-4 in the 6-3 loss. In the series, he only had one assist, failing to score on any of his 19 shots.
At 32 years old, Kesler is running out of time to win his first Stanley Cup.
And perhaps that’s why this latest loss was especially tough for him. The Ducks had a great chance to eliminate the Predators once Ryan Johansen was lost for the series, and then they would’ve faced either Pittsburgh minus Kris Letang or the underdog Ottawa Senators.
That’s gonna sting every time.