‘Beast Mode’: Former Canuck Ryan Kesler back in Vancouver for Game 2 vs. Nashville

The Vancouver Canucks have brought in a lucky charm as the club gears up to face the Nashville Predators for Game 2 of their Stanley Cup Playoffs matchup.

That charm is none other than former Canuck Ryan Kesler, a member of the squad that contended in the 2011 Stanley Cup Final, and a player who probably still gives former Nashville Predators nightmares.

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“I have chills right now. I will probably cry during the opening for pregame,” Kesler told Global News as the notes U2’s ‘Where the Streets Have No Name’ drifted in from the Rogers Arena soundcheck.

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“I saw it already and it brings back a lot of good memories, and the fact that my son gets to be a part of it and he gets to realize how passionate these fans are and how great it is to play in front of them, it’s going to be a special night.”

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Kesler is widely viewed as instrumental in getting the Canucks past Nashville, their second-round opponent during the 2011 cup run.

The two-way forward earned the nickname “Beast Mode” after racking up five goals and 11 points in the six games it took the team to down the Predators.

“We could beat you any way we wanted to. If you wanted to out-hit us we would out-hit you, if you wanted to skate us into the ground, we would skate you back. If you wanted to out-skill us, we are up for that, too,” Kesler said of his 2011 teammates. ”

“It was a team that could win any way, and I feel like this team has a lot of similarities. I’m excited to watch the game tonight.”

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Kesler, who finished his final five years in the NHL with the Anaheim Ducks, returned to Vancouver for Game 2 with his son Ryker, who was born just a few months before the 2011 cup run.

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He told Global News being back in the city felt like home.

“Especially with the buzz from the playoffs, it’s special to be back,” he said.

“My son was born here, my son is here with me, so for him to be back and get the drift, get the whole vibe of the city, it’s something I really want him to take in.”

The Canucks will be hoping for a little of that Beast Mode magic Tuesday night.

Earlier in the day the club revealed that All-Star starting goaltender Thatcher Demko had been sidelined with an undisclosed injury, and is being treated as “day-to-day” as the series proceeds.

The Canucks lead the Predators 1-0 in the best-of-seven series.

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