Kesler vs Ladd…Round 2?

The Blackhawks square off with the Vancouver Canucks tonight at the United Center.

The Canucks’ Ryan Kesler will not only reunite on the ice with Team USA mate Patrick Kane, but he’ll get to say hello to Andrew Ladd for the first time since calling him a coward.

But according to Kesler, he said that, but he didn’t.  It’s the media’s fault for twisting his words.

Ryan Kesler after Andrew Ladd beat him up

Not sure how they could have twisted these words…”He’s a coward and that’s the way it is.”  That came in a radio interview after his Canucks beat the Hawks 5-1.

In that game, he and Andrew Ladd went toe-to-toe, gloves off, at least for a quick second.  Ladd landed one punch and then Kesler ended things by going down to the ice.  That fight was apparently retribution for a Ladd hit on Kesler in last year’s playoffs that left Kesler with a broken nose.  It seemingly should have been over after that fight.

To quote my favorite movie, Ocean’s 11, “You’d hit a guy, he’d whack ya, done.”  It’s the same in baseball.

The coward comment was a little bit over the top, and Kesler got caught this morning when he tried to deny the coward comment to reporters.

“I’m not calling him a coward either. You guys like to twist my words a lot,” Kesler said.  Then the reporters informed him that he did indeed call Ladd a coward.

“Yeah, I did, but right there I didn’t just call him that,” Kesler said to those reporters gathered around his locker on Friday morning. “He’s a hard-nosed player that plays the same every night. I’m not calling him a coward. The media always turns people’s words around. It drives me nuts.”

That comes from a blog post by Tim Sassone of the Daily Herald this morning.  Great stuff.  It’s hilarious to me when athletes try to dodge bullets by denying they said something that they really did say.

It’s not the first time Kesler has stumbled over his own words.  When he was explaining why he instigated the fight between him and Ladd, he said it was because Ladd cross-checked him in the face when he wasn’t looking.  Please, Mr. Kesler, how could you not have seen a stick coming at your face?  Even if it WAS in your peripheral, you still could have seen it.  This is hockey.  I’ve never played, but come on man, don’t be such a wuss.

Sassone’s post was mainly about how Patrick Kane thinks Kesler is a “good guy”.  Look I’m sure he is, but what’s Patrick Kane supposed to say?  He’s never been one to stir the pot (minus that small incident in a Buffalo cab), especially on the ice.  Sorry Patrick, I’m not exactly buying that from ya.

Personally, I’d love to see Kesler laid out in open ice, with a clean hit of course, by Dustin Byfuglien or Ben Eager.  The Hawks owe Kesler one.


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