Canucks Advent Calendar: 17 days to the Season Opener
This series of blog posts will look back on the highest highs of last season, and hopefully get the Canucks faithful amped for the season to come!
17 days to get back to playing Canucks hockey. 17 days to get back to winning games.
Today’s memory is dedicated to Twitter’s @KeslerGirl – and with just 17 days left before the season begins, the focus is on #PassItToKesler and a number of Ryan Kesler’s amazing performances last season.
Ryan Kesler had a slow start to his season – only 4 points in October – but he started to heat up in November with 11 points, and a supa-hot 19 points in December. Twice in November, Kesler scored 2 goals in a game, and Twitter #Canucks fans turned their hashtags to #PassItToKesler.
The hashtag again surfaced in December versus Anaheim when Kesler scored twice, but was unable to get his hat trick.
Finally on December 15, 2010, Kesler accounted for all of the Canucks scoring. Make the final Kesler 3 – Columbus 2. Watch for the patience and quickness of Kesler’s wrist shot on the first two goals, and speed and timing on the OT winner.
After Kesler had yet another 2 goal game late in December, he again struck for a hat trick on January 7, 2011, this time against the Edmonton Oilers, in an overall team whupping. Although I’m sure Nikolai Khabibulin would want that first goal back, there’s no denying Kesler’s speed. On his 2nd and 3rd goals, he shows off his hands with a couple beautiful deflections.
Late in the season in what was sure to be the most boring game of the season, Kesler posted his 3rd hat trick of the season, this time against the Minnesota Wild – a team that normally gives the Canucks fits with their defensive style of play. Kesler showed his nose for the net on the first goal, and his excellent wrist shot on the other two tallies.
As if this regular season wasn’t enough, Kesler continued his stellar work in the playoffs. The first series versus the Blackhawks, he managed to hold Jonathan Toews to very little scoring.
In Round 2 against the Nashville Predators, Kesler played Superman, and put the Canucks on his back. Kesler actually turns on BEAST MODE and splits the defense before firing a wrist shot by Pekka Rinne. Not just any defensemen though, we’re talking about Shea Weber and Ryan Suter.
When I say he played Superman, I’m not joking around. Don’t believe the hype? This line explains it:
Against San Jose, Kesler pulled up lame chasing a puck deep in the offensive zone, and as we all know he was not the same for the rest of the way in the playoffs. As it turns out, he needed surgery to repair a torn labrum in his hip, and will not begin the season with the Canucks. No doubt that he will come back and help the Canucks push towards the playoffs again this season though!
Thanks for a great year Kes!
Do you have other memorable Kesler moments from last season?