Sharks notes: Murray, Kesler renew hostilities

May 16, 2011, 11:41 pm
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Tim Panaccio

VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- When youre 6-foot-3, 240 pounds, its not a coincidence that your own coach calls you his bull in the china shop.Douglas Murray has heard it before. The Bull had a number of run-ins with Ryan Kesler during Sundays 3-2 loss to the Canucks in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals. Kesler gives up an inch in height, which is nothing in hockey. Yet the 38 pounds in weight disadvantage is. Which is why Kesler got decked a few times. Murrays high-stick call on Kesler in the opening period had him a tad upset on Monday. The two were going at it pretty good on the ice, the way Murray sees it. And when Murray decked him, they exchanged some words. It was the heat of the game, Murray said. He looked like he was hurt a lot more. It was something that happens during the game. I asked someone and I think my stick came up when I poke-checked him down low. I think my stick came up from him lifting it. I didnt feel like I high-sticked him. Some of the Sharks felt there was a bit of embellishment on Keslers part there, as well as with Max Lapierre in the third period when Dan Boyle was penalized for holding the Canucks centerman, who took a dive. In that instance, both players went off the ice. Their heads are going back like theyre being shot with a gun, Boyle said, inferring the Canucks dont take too kindly to the checks that have been thrown on them by San Jose. Hopefully, the refs see it, most of the time. They got one right in the end at least, though unfortunately I had to go with him. Vancouver has been accused of embellishing to get some calls throughout these playoffs. Truth is, thats not unusual when you have a skill group of players like the Canucks in games against more physical opponents, such as the Sharks. We were aware of what Nashville was accusing them of in the series before and I saw it first hand last night, Boyle said. Theyre getting away with it, and its working for them. So, if its working, why are you going to change it? We just hope the referees watch tape like we do, and they see some of the things other people have seen. Two days off: The reason for the extra day off between games is a Kid Rock concert here at Rogers Arena. Most coaches dont enjoy an extra day off when they lose. Bad losses tend to eat away at players. Sharks coach Todd McLellan thinks this is an exception. Most his players elected not to skate on Monday. Interestingly, team captain Joe Thornton skated. You always want to get back on the horse as quick as you can, but in this case, I think the extra day helps us, he said. We take advantage of it, today. Physically, tomorrow we will have a good skate. Production: The Sedin Twins (Daniel and Henrik) were honest after Game 1 in saying that they felt pressure to perform in the playoffs. Its even been a discussion with their teammates. You know, those guys always lead by example, Kesler said. They were playing well for us, they just weren't getting the bounces. It all evens out in the end. I couldn't be more happy for Hank to score that goal. He's been working hard, doing all the right things. For him to finally get one, it's good. For Hank's defense, he's been playing really well. I think some of that negative energy has been directly wrong at him obviously. They're here to produce. Sometimes the puck doesn't go in the net. I've gone through stretches, too. I've had that negative energy drawn at me, too. I was really happy to see him get that one. You know, he played extremely well for us tonight and he won us the game. Vancouver got a huge morale boost, players said, by the contribution of its fourth line as Lapierre scored a game-tying goal early in the second period. His wingers are Raffi Torres and Jannik Hansen. It's fun that we're contributing, Lapierre said. We tried to keep it simple: put the puck deep, cycle the puck. That was a big goal. He had an easy tap shot in the crease off a pass from behind the net by Hansen. We want to stick with the game plan, wait for our chances to have a goal, Lapierre said. It was a great play by my winger, so I just have to tip it in. Henrik Sedin thought Lapierres goal took some pressure off the rest of the Canucks. It gives us huge momentums in games where we can throw those guys on the ice, they're buzzing around, he said. For them to get a goal playing the way they did, it's great to watch. I mean, it's guys that work extremely hard, so fun to watch. Kesler felt Lapierres line also made a difference defensively in Game 1. When you can throw that line out there and they play in the offensive zone all night, that wears the D down, that makes them really, really hard to play against, Kesler said. Those guys were great all night. It's been one of the best games I've seen that line play. Tim Panaccio is the NHL Insider for E-mail him at