It took nearly an hour for Ryan Kesler's engine, the one with the pistons that never stop churning, to cool off after the game.
With his chin still soaked in blood and stitches, his eyes still rigid and intense, he fielded a series of questions, minus the tooth he lost, and they were some variation of this:
"What the hell happened?"
His answers were short and they left everyone to guess on what he is actually thinking. It can't be good. Kesler performed everything but alchemy Saturday. He was unrelenting and wickedly good. He was skilled and obsessively determined. He was a circus on skates, a thorn through Nashville's foot and an inspiration to anyone who loves playoff hockey. He scored two goals, killed penalties and grew his heart again three sizes right before our eyes. It was nearly enough to drag the Canucks across the finish line. Too bad about all the dead weight he's carrying.
"If only all of us could play like him," Jannik Hansen said. "If we could this would be an easy playoff."
Easy is about the last thing this postseason has been. For the fourth time in the playoffs the Canucks failed to dust an opponent when given a chance to eliminate one. This time they failed to win a game Chicken Little would love. The Canucks gifted the Nashville Predators all four goals, and the 4-3 win which put panic in the on-deck circle.
Since this series started, people have wondered if the Predators could beat the Canucks. They didn't have to Saturday. The Canucks beat themselves, allowing the Predators to close within a game of tying a series which Vancouver now leads 3-2.
Saturday was Vancouver's expected coronation. But it looked like a wake as too many Canucks toggled through looking dead tired and playing dead dumb.
Canucks go down 4-3 despite titanic Kesler effort
Vancouver Province | May 8