Confidence is Key

Ryan KeslerWatching Ryan Kesler play right now against Washington and the past few games after his two goal “outbreak” against Columbus, there’s something about his game that we haven’t seen until now.

Sure, he’s always been a good forechecker, kills penalties and drops the gloves once in a while, but he wasn’t drafted for that, he was drafted for his offensive talents and the remarkable speed he showed in college.

Finally, he’s looking confident.

Rather than in the past when he looked at a one-on-one and gave it the old dump and chase, he’s now looking at a one-on-one as an opportunity to beat the defenceman and put one in the net.

He’s trying – and sometimes completing – moves that we have grown accustomed to seeing from the superstars of the league like Alex Ovechkin and Pavel Datsyuk. (That’s right, I said it, he’s looking like a Russian)

But maybe that’s what the Canucks need. Having a team full of dump and chase grinders is only going to take you so far.

The Canucks of last season had remarkable similarities to their ancestors of 1994 when they went to the finals: stellar goaltending, big and bruising defenceman (with a couple smooth skaters), and solid scoring.

But what they were missing, and what the Canucks were trying to do when they drafted Kesler, was that flat out superstar who could literally bring fans out of their seats shift after shift, and maybe if Kesler keeps his confidence up where it is, works hard and capitalizes on more chances, he could be that guy.

Alain Vigneault said the other day that Kesler has clearly been the best player on the ice the past few games.

Finally, an American draft pick may not be a bust.

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4 Responses

  1. I love Kesler. I’ve been banking on him having an upstart year for so long. In fact, I maintained through the summer that if he could step it up a notch, the Canucks didn’t need to go fishing for a guy like Forsberg. The Sedins can handle the brunt of the scoring, as long as they’re not alone out there; To have Naslund/Morrison and Kesler/Cooke as depth scoring alleviates some of that pressure, and gives the team a chance to win!

    Whether he’ll be a Bure, I don’t know. He’s got the skills, I suppose, but Bure was never responsible defensively. I’d much rather Kesler play a gritty but talented game, in which he can take risks and make the big plays, but then still block the shots in his own zone!

  2. […] back on their heels a number of times. But I think the Sports Corner is on to something when they write: Rather than in the past when [Kesler] looked at a one-on-one and gave it the old dump and chase, […]

  3. […] back on their heels a number of times. But I think the Sports Corner is on to something when they write: Rather than in the past when [Kesler] looked at a one-on-one and gave it the old dump and chase, […]

  4. […] thesportscorner Did an interesting post today on thesportscorner.wordpress.comThe first few lines are here: […]

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