If this is turning into the Nashville series for the Vancouver Canucks, they're going to need their predatorial anecdote.

That happens to be Ryan Kesler, the fellow who put himself into the Smythe trophy lead with perhaps the greatest playoff series ever authored by a Canuck player although Richard Brodeur might have something to say about that.

But right now Kesler has a problem. He's not the same player. The attention he's getting and the pounding he's taken has him a very frustrated young man at the moment and apparently limited player in many ways despite his eloquent denials. When a dwarf like Brad Marchand can cuff him aside and score the third goal the way he did Monday night, it's enough to make you gulp a Selke award right on the spot.

What gives. He's in front and has Mark Recchi's shot deflect in off him, then finishes that illustrious second period going at Zdeno Chara in frustration. May as well run at the Hancock tower. Eight minutes into the third period he runs Adam McQuaid after the whistle blows in front of the Boston goal. Then he's fighting Dennis Seidenberg of all people. But he's not frustrated if you listen to him. We know he's getting hit, knocked around and speared but what's new? The question is how bad is his health and what can he possibly contribute to the rest of this series. Right now his skating is at the level of an average player and the only skill he's contributing is his uncanny ability to deflect pucks in front on the power play which wasn't very effective Monday night.

"I'm fine...I'm fine," said Kelser, the dots representing about a three second delay after he'd been a full 45 minutes in the medical room. "I'm not frustrated. I decided to fight to stick up for myself. I decided I wasn't going to let them push me around without some kind of response and I thought that was a good time to do it."

It also allowed him to sit for the rest of the night which is probably what he should have been doing anyway with the score hopelessly out of reach.