The Paper Feature: Kesler to wing, and John Tortorella’s other bright ideas

Ryan Kesler had a slow start to the season, scoring just once in his first six games and filling Canucks fans, who now expect the former 41-goal scorer to score once in every second game for the rest of his career, with a deep dread. Coming into the year, we were told that Kesler was healthy, that he felt great, and that he was poised for another big year. But six games in, he had contributed five fewer points than ex-Canuck Derek Roy in the same number of games. Beastmode? More like bustmode. Or leastmode. No wait: priestmode, because he seemed committed to not scoring.

Fortunately, Kesler appears to have finally located his game, with 7 points in his last 4 contests at the time of this writing. His sterling play helped the Canucks close out a very successful 5-1-1 road trip, and it earned Kesler the NHL’s highest honour — third star of the week. It certainly seems as though the Canucks are on the verge of getting one the league’s elite centres back playing the way he can.

Save for one small glitch, of course: Kesler did all that damage from the wing. What’s more, it doesn’t appear that he’ll be heading back to the middle any time soon. “I just look at Kes like a winger,” John Tortorella said at the end the trip. This raised some eyebrows. Kesler is, after all, a pretty good centre, and taking him out of the centre depth chart leaves a massive, Kesler-shaped hole there, like when a cartoon character exits through a wall.

But here’s where it got absolutely crazy: Tortorella then proceeded to list off some of the other changes he plans to make, and if you thought that Kesler on the wing was a twist, the other innovations will blow your mind.

Roberto Luongo at centre.

Torts says: “He’s 6’3″, 220 pounds. We could use that kind of size down the middle. Plus he’s great at blocking shots.”

Jordan Schroeder on Dale Weise’s shoulders, in a big trenchcoat so they look like one really tall guy.

Torts says: “Schroeder’s got great vision, but he’s small. Dale doesn’t quite have the same vision, but he’s big. Together, I think we’ve got something.”

Mike Santorelli as the entire second line.

Torts says: “I like Santorelli at centre. I like him at right wing. I like him at left wing. So we’ll play him at all three, see how that goes. I think he’s up to it.”

Play the Sedins together.

Torts says: “I’ve had them apart, but has anyone ever tried it the other way? I really think it’s gonna work.”

Both powerplay units on the ice simultaneously.

Torts says: “You show me in the rulebook where it says we can’t have 11 guys on the ice at a time. Oh… it is, huh? Well, nevermind.”

Andrew Alberts in the lineup.

Torts says: “I’m just kidding. That would be crazy.”

The entire penalty-kill wearing stick-on orange beards.

Torts says: “When you have a guy that looks like a Sedin blocking a shot, watch what the bench does. It’s 10 feet tall.”

The whole team on stilt-skates.

Torts says: “When you have everyone on stilt-skates, watch what the bench does. It’s 10 feet tall.”

10-foot tall bench.

Torts says: “When you have a 10-foot tall bench, watch what the bench does.”

Replace Chris Tanev’s bone skeleton with an adamantium version.

Torts says: “He throws his face in front of pucks. He takes huge hits. He never seems to get hurt. So I think he can handle this procedure. We can give him retractable claws. It’s gonna be great.”

Tom Sestito as a stanchion. 

Torts says: “We’ve been getting some good bounces off the boards, but it might help to have an inside man. Besides, have you seen Sestito skate?”

Jason Garrison as a net-front presence.

Torts says: “The whole team has been asking for this, saying something about ‘someone needs to show that guy how it feels’ or something. I don’t know. But let it never be said I don’t listen to my guys.” 

Eddie Lack as not on Twitter.

Torts says: “I hate Twitter.”

John Tortorella as one of the refs.

Torts says: “Maybe now we’ll get some [expletive] calls.


Tweet Podium

This feature takes a moment to recognize the best tweets of the week, because we’re online-type writers and Twitter is an online-type thing. If you see a great Canucks-related tweet, send us a link. Or plagiarize it and bask in its glory.



Quinn Omori succinctly summarizes the feelings of every Canucks fan ever.



After he was accused of being James Duthie last week, Roberto Luongo had a little fun with his followers.



The Canucks have earned the power of self-respect!

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  1. Nix
    October 30, 2013

    PRIESTmode is the best. Having a laugh at 7:30 helps me wake up. Let’s hope that some of the other Canucks turn off PriestMode.

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  2. Chris
    October 30, 2013

    Did he ever think about pulling the goalie when it’s his turn to shoot in the shootout? 2-on-0. They’ll never know what hit them.

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    Rating: +3 (from 3 votes)
  3. Tom
    October 30, 2013

    You guys have finally made me truly laugh. First time in a long time to be honest. What did it? Kesler’s highest honor. A couple other places as well. Thanks!

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  4. Chocoball
    October 30, 2013

    Mooney, you never fail to crack me up. Bravo, sir!

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    Rating: +4 (from 4 votes)
  5. Bookie
    October 30, 2013

    Weise+Schroeder shall henceforth be known as Master Blaster. I hear they’re bringing in Tina Turner as a special coach.

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    Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
  6. Harry
    October 30, 2013

    That was one of the funniest articles I have ever read. I thought it was all downhill from the priestmode line, but the whole thing was hilarious. I mean this in the least creepy way possible, but I would love to watch a game with you guys

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    Rating: +7 (from 7 votes)
  7. Colby
    October 30, 2013

    Love the format, DGB style. I can’t resist:
    The 4th line stays in the dressing room so Kesler can lay down between shifts.

    All players may only donate to animal related charities

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  8. PakG1
    October 30, 2013

    Oh wow, I just laughed and laughed, this was great stuff. :)

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