Even as Ryan Kesler limped off the ice in Game 5 of the Western Conference finals against the Sharks, taking the majority of Vancouver's offense with him, it figured he would be back. It figured, too, that he would be the one to score the tying goal with 13 seconds left, the one that sent the teams to overtime in a game the Canucks eventually would win to put them in the Stanley Cup finals.

His stat line explains that, with his seven goals and 11 assists this postseason, his 23-plus minutes each game, his 54.7 percent of faceoffs won. So too does his toughness, his desire to be on the ice whenever, wherever, no matter how injured.

As teammate Alex Burrows said yesterday, explaining Kesler's high pain threshold, "He probably got beat up by his sister when he was younger.''