The Anaheim Ducks are winless through three games and the frustration may be getting to center Ryan Kesler.
In Wednesday’s game, with the Ducks trailing Arizona 3-0 in the second period, Kesler and Coyotes pivot Martin Hanzal got into a scuffle in the Anaheim zone. After the pair was pushing and shoving while play continued, Kesler began to turn away from the play before lifting the butt-end of his stick and catching Hanzal with a backhanded jab to the face. Kesler added an extra shot as Hanzal went down:
(Video via Reddit /u/Meowingtins-PhD)
There was no penalty assessed on the play, and the sequence ended with Anthony Duclair netting his third goal of the evening for his first career NHL hat trick. The blow didn’t leave Hanzal bloodied or out of the contest, but it’s still an undisciplined play by Kesler. Hanzal was back on the ice for another shift less than a minute later and played 11 more shifts in the contest.
It doesn’t appear Kesler will be facing any supplementary discipline for his transgression against Hanzal, either. Post-game, however, it was clear just how frustrated Kesler is with the Ducks play over their first three outings.
“It’s frustrating,” Kesler said. “We’re as pissed off as anybody. It’s not the type of effort we want. If we think we’re just going to come in here on Friday and magically it’s going to happen, it’s not. We have to put our work boots on, and that starts with will and passion.”