So you flipped on the TV for Game 6, with your popcorn and favourite beverage, in anticipation of the next unbelievable thing Ryan Kesler would do, because that's pretty much all he's been doing lately. And he ran the goalie. Didn't just sort of slide into him, wasn't pushed particularly hard by Shea Weber, didn't hit the brakes or nudge Pekka Rinne on a fly-by. Ran him the old-fashioned way. "Yeah, I was trying to stop and get out of the way but ... I couldn't," he said later, fairly exuding innocence. And so began the assault on the senses that marked the end of the Nashville Predators' season. With Kesler operating at his now customary hell-bent pace, knocking Rinne off his feet and his game early, if only briefly, serving his time in the penalty box and emerging to set up both Vancouver goals in a space of under two minutes, No. 17 put an exclamation point on a bid for playoff MVP honours. And you can take it from his teammates, his coach, his goaltender and the ever-plucky Predators that he was largely responsible for sending the Canucks onto the conference final with the usual razor-thin 2-1 victory at Bridgestone Arena. They're not sure who they'll be playing yet — San Jose or Detroit — but the Canucks know they won't be starting until the weekend, and Kesler, who looks as though he's been through a meat grinder, could use the rest, though you'd never know it by his play. "He's a horse, man — might as well just give him the Conn Smythe right now," said goalie Roberto Luongo, who was a horse himself, especially on a couple of the four first-period power plays the Canucks had to kill. But Kesler was ... on some other planet altogether.
King Kesler 'drives the bus' yet again as Canucks clinch series
Vancouver Sun | May 10