Ryan Kesler responds to Ryan Johansen's comments


Speaking to reporters for the first time since Ryan Johansen called him out as a dirty player and questioned how Kesler’s friends and family could even cheer for him, the Anaheim Ducks agitator said he wouldn’t back down from pestering the Nashville Predators centre.

Everyone in and outside the NHL knows all about the reputation that follows Ryan Kesler wherever he goes. One of the best two-way players in the game through most of his career, Kesler is still probably best-known for his capabilities as a skilled pest.

If anything, Kesler said, he is just getting started.

I laughed. I got a lot of text messages from my friends and family saying they still cheered me on, Kesler said Tuesday morning, when asked what his immediate reaction was upon hearing Johansen’s post-Game 2 comments. He can say whatever he wants though, I'm not going to change my game. I'm here for one reason and one reason only and that's to win some games here and to ultimately win the series. 

It only took 2 games for Johansen to get tired of the "pest". Johansen, who headed into Tuesday night's Game 3 of the Western Conference final with 13 points in 12 games, isn’t the first player to be targetted by Kesler this spring. From Calgary’s Sean Monahan to Edmonton’s Connor McDavid, skilled players have had to battle through stick work, late hits and a constant stream of chirping from this year’s Frank Selke Trophy finalist.

However, this is the first time in these playoffs someone has called out Kesler for crossing the line. Have a look at Johansen's comments during an interview:



Watch what Kesler had to say after Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals.



Would you rather play physically or skillfully?

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