Monday, January 10, 2011

Ryan Kesler Would Literally Play on Crutches

Every so often, we hear reports of a Ryan Kesler injury. It doesn't matter what it is--a sore hand, a sore foot, a broken bone in either--regardless of the injury's placement or severity, each article of this sort inevitably contains the sentence "Kesler will play."

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.

"Cut it off," an emotional Kesler told them.

Thankfully, they did not listen.

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."

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.


  1. Not to be a buzzkill, but both Kesler and Linden would suck on crutches.

  2. Gotta give props to Hank though - he actually did get part of a finger amputated so that he could returned to playing.

    Perhaps that's why he's captain and Kesler's not!


  3. Bah... return, not returned.


  4. Tis but a scratch

  5. I guess somebody already tweeted that, sorry for the repeat or the retweet

  6. There is never a poor time to reference MP&THG, Kenny.

  7. I think all my comments on your blog have been about Wellwood, but I swear I like current canucks too, especially kesler with his hilarious seriousness and babymaking.
    That being said, I just need to defend Wellwood's toughness a little bit: he legit played a few games with a broken wrist (not for the canucks). He also didn't notice when his toe got broken last year... On second thought, maybe he just has a nerve-ending problem?

    And hey, anyone know offhand who has the current ironman streak?

  8. Seriously dudes, how much time do you spend on PITB everyday (meant in the nicest way)? It'd be nice to get some stats with a fancy graph showing the increase in daily content on PITB going back to last April.

    You currently make non-trivial posts multiple times daily. You can't be earning from this (yet). Where do you find the time (and money to put bread on the table)? Do you ever worry about burnout or the content suffering?

    No complaints here, just a bit concerned about you boys. For God sake, pace yourselves or you'll be no good to us come playoff time!

  9. @ Irene

    Wellwood was such a beast in the playoffs, Didn't he lose teeth and score a goal in one game?
    I also miss Wellwood. It was hard for me to adjust to all the new players this year I get so attached to them and then you start a new season and some of them are just gone :(
    I think Henrik has our Ironman streak for the Canucks and Jay bouwmeester has it for the league

  10. ^ two assists I think, helped set up the game winner, and drew two double minors

  11. @Anonymous (3:11pm)

    Yeah, we do post a lot. It helps that there are three of us, and also that I write fairly quickly. Not to mention that I work some odd hours and I'm motivated by loving the team and wanting to do this for a living.

  12. @ Irene. Ahh yes the little warrior! what a great game he played that night. Thanks for posting that

  13. @Irene You might love Welly more than we do. I remember that game. He was awesome.

    I'm not saying Wellwood won't play through injuries. I'm saying he doesn't take the game all that seriously. He seems to possess a little gift called perspective, which is probably why he got out of his contract with Atlant to go home to his wife.

  14. Alright, perspective, point taken.
    Hmm, my hockey pool is telling me that Kesler is injured, but I am not deceived.

    I really hope you guys do get to do this for a living! Partly for the selfish reason that I want to continue reading it of course...

  15. @ Irene/Harrison/Kenny Everyone loves Wellwood. Some out the may not "like" him, but deep down we all love him.

  16. Not sure if anyone read far enough into the article by Brad Ziemer to catch the Jan Bulis reference. 4th last paragraph:

    "(Kesler) and Naslund are not exactly strangers. They played together, along with the departed Jan Bulis, for about a month last season before Kesler had his hip surgery."

    How times have changed. Who knows, Bulis may have looked like Raymond/Tambellini if he had played with the 2011 version of Ryan Kesler. If that was the case, this blog would likely have a different name. "Pass it to Santala" perhaps? Though "PiTS" would be an unfortunate acronym.


  17. I think it's a bit of a stretch to say 22:52 is "nearly half the game." Don't mean to nitpick though, I love your guys' blog!

  18. Reece, I agree. That's lazy writing. I'm going to fix it.


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