VANCOUVER – The glass is half-full for the Canucks going into Game 5 of the Stanley Cup final, despite two lopsided losses.
And while the pressure is on, with Friday’s winner one game from the championship, forward Ryan Kesler says that’s fine with him and his team.
“We put pressure on ourselves, we don’t feel the outside pressure at all,” Kesler said.
“We know we’re in a good spot still. And if someone told me at the beginning of the year we had a best-of-three series to win the Stanley Cup and we had home ice, I’d definitely take that.”
“It’s our home ice and we’re here to make a statement,” he added.
Despite the intensity of the series—and the debacle in Boston—Kesler insists he’s having fun, even if he said so with a grim face.
“I definitely enjoy it,” he said. “That’s why we play the game—to be in a situation that we are now. We’re in a great situation, we’re playing a best-out-of-three series for the Stanley Cup. It’s a great feeling in this room right now.”
Captain Henrik Sedin said the intensity of the series is as it should be.
“It’s the final. It should be the toughest thing you’ve been through and that’s what it is. That’s what makes it fun.”
Quizzed on how much fun it really is, given the target on his back, Sedin acknowledged it would be nice to get some help from the officials.
“Sometimes you hope maybe they’re going to crack down on a few things that happen. But again this is what it is. We have to battle and stay away from getting frustrated which I think we’ve done a good job of. It’s a battle.”
Kesler showed confidence in the officials.
“They can try to do whatever they want,” he said of the Bruins. “I think the refs will do a good job of calling the cheap stuff tonight.”
Kesler also maintained that the Canucks’ response to the Bruins hands-on tactics was not born out of frustration.
“I think it’s just standing up for ourselves because when you get continuously get cheap-shotted after the whistle, you’re going to respond. We’ve done a good job of walking away all year and we’re going to continue to walk away.”
Sedin said the Canucks have to stop turning the puck over and put the puck in Boston’s end where they can put pressure on the Bruins.