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Thornton challenged, Kesler said no way

Tuesday, 05.17.2011 / 8:17 PM

By Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer / 2011 Western Conf. Final: Canucks-Sharks Blog

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2011 Western Conf. Final: Canucks-Sharks Blog
Thornton challenged, Kesler said no way
VANCOUVER, B.C. -- Joe Thornton wanted to get the series off to a bang, so before the puck even dropped in Game 1 he verbally challenged Ryan Kesler to a fight. Kesler didn't oblige and Thornton was kicked out of the circle, but the two admitted Tuesday that it did happen.

"Opening draw last game, Thornton asked me to fight," Kesler said. "I'm not going to engage in that, I'm not going to respond to that. He can talk to me all he wants and he's not going to get anything from me."

When asked why he did it, Thornton said, "Why not?"

"I assume, let's fight," Thornton said smiling. "Let's start the series off with a bang. That's about it."

Was he surprised that Kesler was not a willing combatant?

"No," Thornton said, laughing now.

Well, then was he trying to channel his inner Dave Schultz?

"No, I'm not that tough," Thornton said. "He's competitive. I like playing against competitive guys. It makes you elevate your game.  You want to win every inch out there. It's a great battle."
   
Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl

Quote of the Day

I don't think it's really truly going to sink in until we drop the puck, to be honest. I know there's going to be a lot of smoke and mirrors with the media attention and all that. We came [Monday] and it was sort of a light day to get things organized. We just want to focus in on the business aspect, the game itself. That's what we're preparing to do. Get these next couple of days out of the way and it's game on.

— Lightning captain Steven Stamkos on playing in his first Stanley Cup Final