Every Goal, 2012-13: Ryan Kesler

Two seasons ago, it took us a full week to get through Ryan Kesler’s entry in the “Every Goal” series. We put it off until the end of the summer, both because it had some of the year’s most exciting goals, and because we’re chronic procrastinators and it seemed like a lot of work. At 41 tallies, it had to be split up into four posts just so it wasn’t completely overwhelming.

Not so this time around. Kesler’s goal-scoring in 2012-13 was less than one-tenth of his 2010-11 output, thanks to the lockout and a neverending stream of injuries that have conspired to make the former Selke winner a non-entity for much of the past two seasons. Kesler just couldn’t catch a break last year, save for the one his foot caught shortly after he returned from rehabbing shoulder surgery.

As a result, he played just 17 games, and he was his old self for, oh, let’s say zero of them. Still, he scored four times. Let’s take a look.

1 | February 17 vs. St. Louis Blues

It didn’t take long for Kesler to get his first of the year. After an assist in his first game back, he scored goal number one in his second game back, converting on some nifty passing from the Sedins. The Canucks set up on the powerplay in a diamond formation and then send Daniel Sedin right into the middle of the ice. Henrik is able to find him there, and when he draws the defender on the far side, Daniel moves the puck to Kesler for the one-timer.

2 | April 8 vs. Phoenix Coyotes

After missing the entirety of March with a broken foot, Kesler returned versus the Coyotes, and he got right back to his goal-scoring ways, finishing off this clustercuss of an odd-man rush. We gave this one the full breakdown treatment, so please, go read that for a more in-depth analysis, but here’s what you need to know: this goal is a mess. Mason Raymond falls down, Kevin Bieksa flubs a shot, Zack Kassian waits to the point of explosion like a kid wearing a purity ring… it’s just silly.

3 | April 15 vs. Nashville Predators

Kesler’s wrist shot is one of his best weapons, so it’s amazing that it takes us until April 15 to see him actually score a goal with it. Either way, it’s nice to see. When Kesler gets a little space to unload the wrister he’s dangerous, and the Sedins are able to give him that space on this zone entry. Daniel Sedin does the dirty work here, gaining the blue line then dropping for Henrik before interfering with his man. After that, Henrik finds Kesler, and Kesler fires his shot through David Legwand’s inadvertent screen and beats Pekka Rinne.

4 | April 15 vs. Nashville Predators

Finally, Kesler scores his second of the night with relative ease, taking a feed from Derek Roy, who briefly played for the Canucks, in case you forgot. Pekka Rinne doesn’t really have a chance on this one. Jannik Hansen is screening him in front, and about the time Hansen goes down flailing, Rinne loses sight of the puck. Roy pounces on it and shows great presence of mind by sliding it across to Kesler, who has the whole net to shoot at.

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1 Comment

  1. sox/canucks fan
    August 17, 2013

    Big season ahead.

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