How important is #17 to the Canucks?

Just how important is Ryan Kesler to the Vancouver Canucks? Many people found themselves asking this question on Monday, following the news that he would be returning to the line up vs. Phoenix. Just how big of an impact did #RK17 have?

Kesler wasted no time in getting into this game with speed and net presence. He scored the game’s opening goal just 7:26 into the first period:

In case you were wondering, that goal was also the game winning goal. Pretty good for a guy that has only played 8 games this season. The Canucks notched a season high 42 shots on net and were dominant for a full 60 minute effort. They controlled the puck while playing with a 1-0 lead for 52 minutes before Phoenix inadvertently scored on their own net making it a 2-0 lead. [Admit it, you felt slightly terrible for the Coyotes knowing that we would gladly take the insurance goal but glad that the situation was not reversed].

Ryan Kesler was more than ready for this game putting 4 shots on net and registering two penalty minutes. The poor guy has spent most of the season watching from the sidelines and we ALL know that Kesler is not one who enjoys being on the outside. The plan is for Kesler to get these final 10 games of the season under his belt so that come playoff time he has gained more than enough much needed preparation.

The question remains do the Canucks need Kesler in order to be successful? Answer: Yes, especially when Kesler is able to give 100%. When Kesler is firing on all cylinders, it is reflection of how the whole team is playing. Last night with Kesler fired up, the entire team looked different than they have for the majority of the season. They looked like they had their swagger back that has been missing for the better part of the season and they looked dominant in all areas. They looked like the team that we all know they are capable of being when they are firing on all cylinders. If they keep this off on the upcoming road trip it will be quite a fun final stretch of the season to watch. Last night felt like playoff hockey and the Canucks will need Kesler to keep playing this way, leading by example of his strong play. It is especially important that as the playoffs edge ever closer[3 weeks away!] that EVERY player on each team plays to the BEST of their abilities.

The Canucks will need Ryan Kesler to play the next 9 games and all through the playoffs as strong as he played in his comeback against the Coyotes. As Kesler plays so does the rest of the team and they will all have to play at their highest level if they want to have success into June.

Ryan Kesler finally looks like he is 100%, lets hope that the dominance from him and the team against Phoenix was just the beginning of what is to come down this final stretch of the season! His success is directly linked with the success of the rest of the team.

The Canucks will look to continue their winning ways on their 5 game road trip which begins tomorrow evening in Calgary. Hopefully Kesler will pick up where he left off against Phoenix and score another goal or perhaps two. Puck drop is at 6:30 PM[pacific time].

#Beastmode #WelcomeBackKESLER #goCanucksgo #playoffdrive #9games2go

So, how important is #17 to the Canucks? Simply put: extremely. Just look to the 2011 playoffs or any time when he is 100% healthy for an example of the beast mode we know he possesses when his game is in tact which it currently appears to be.

As always until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

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