The latest of these articles comes from the Province's Ben Kuzma, who reports on a sore thumb that caused Kesler to miss today's practice for what Alain Vigneault routinely and hilariously calls "maintenance." I take maintenance to mean "gruesome injury recovery" and my guess is Vigneault's players do as well. Here's Vigneault on the injury:
"He hurt his thumb a bit and it's just a little bit sore. Faceoffs in the neutral zone, he was letting Jeff Tambellini take them [Saturday], but in our zone he was taking them. So he should be fine."
We observed, in the Saturday's IWTG, that Kesler took less faceoffs than usual. Turns out he was playing through an injury. Should have known.
But see, Kesler might be too hurt to take a few faceoffs. Whatever. He's never too hurt to play. For Kesler, there's hardly any such condition. There are few situations in which he would allow himself to miss a game, and all would require at least 2 of the following 3 obstacles: 1) The tearful begging of loved ones 2) Legal writ 3) the teeth of a rusty bear trap.
Kesler doesn't miss games. Recall seven days ago when it was reported Kesler was limping badly after a shot to the ankle and might miss the following day's game against the Sharks. Fat chance of that. Kesler played over twenty-two minutes, pushing his consecutive games played streak to 202. It's now at 205.
Recall, after Sami Salo's testicle was nearly exploded by a puck, Kesler's amusing observation that he couldn't imagine a worse injury to play through.
We at PITB have observed in the past that Ryan Kesler takes hockey very, very seriously. Hilariously seriously. Kyle Wellwood once remarked that he couldn't imagine taking hockey that seriously (although I'm sure Kesler would say the exact opposite of Wellwood).
But seriously, how seriously? So seriously he'd lop off a finger to play a playoff game. Let's go back three years. Brad Zeimer:
It is helpful to consider the three words Kesler uttered to the team's training staff when he realized a shattered left index finger was going to end his comeback at a single game.Granted, Kesler was only a foolish 23 at the time, but when I was twenty-three, I believed very strongly in keeping my fingers. Not Kesler, and he was dead serious about losing the digit. "I really wanted to play," he said later, defending his utter insanity. "To look back, it was a pretty stupid thing to say."
"Cut it off," an emotional Kesler told them.
Thankfully, they did not listen.
Yes, it was. But Ryan Kesler is crazy. While Jim Robson once hyperbolized that Trevor Linden would play on crutches, Ryan Kesler actually would. Or, if one of his legs was broken, he'd advise the doctors to take the other one and install a wheel. Kesler would turn himself into Rosie, the Jetsons' maid, to play. Kesler would cut his arm off with a hacksaw and cauterize the wound on a hot stove to play (in which case, so much for the bear trap joke).
Again, Ryan Kesler is crazy.