Here's an excerpt of my scathing Black Press article on Ryan Kesler and the Vancouver Canucks game one performance .
Most disheartening was the Canucks continued unnecessary unsportsmanlike antics that have vilified them league wide over the past couple of years. Embellishments and dives. Leaping on hits and snowshowers. And yapping. Endless and unnecessary yapping. And that's just Ryan Kesler. Okay, Max Lapierre and Alex Burrows, too. But Kesler sets the tone of the game for the Canucks. He needs to put an end to that and just play hockey. Not only is that the reason why the rest of the league hates the Canucks so much (that and the fact that they are so successful), but this directly hindered the game plan all night long. Kesler does not necessarily need to score goals to beat the Kings, but he needs to show much better leadership. See Mike Richards.You can read the full article here.
Here's some other thoughts from opening night:
- Tale of two games in Pittsburgh last night. Penguins came out flying, blowing away the Flyers. But then they blew a 3-0 lead and the Flyers win 4-3 in overtime. This is going to be a great series.
- I like Ilya Bryzgalov when he wasn't talking to the media. Scared of bears? Kudos to the Pens fans who showed up for the game in bear costumes. I'm not sure why those fans just happened to have bear costumes in their closets, but good on them.
- Nashville with a nice win over Detroit. But what in the world was Shea Weber thinking? I'm surprised he is not getting any supplemental discipline for his turnbuckle head slam on Henrik Zetterberg. Had it been Kevin Klein instead of Shea Weber, I'd have to think there would be at least a one game suspension.
- For my 2012 John Druce prediction, I singled out Nashville rookie Craig Smith as a possibility. I was close. Another Preds rookie struck last night with 2 goals - Gabriel Bourque. Smith, by the way, was a healthy scratch.
- Judging by Twitter last night, it seems like all fans in all cities last night were unhappy with the refereeing. That generally means the refs are doing a good job. The quicker we drop the refereeing conspiracy theories the quicker we can just enjoy the playoffs.
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