VANCOUVER -- His jaw trembling and eyes filling with water, Ryan Kesler did everything he could to fight back the tears. He summoned the strength to maintain his composure and took all the blame he could for one of the most devastating losses in the history of the Vancouver Canucks.
"I'm a leader on this team,"Kesler said at the conclusion of a seven-game series that saw him register just one assist.
He swallowed hard, gathered himself and continued his answer.
"I did everything I possibly could today. I can hold my head up high, but it hurts. It definitely hurts right now."
Kesler, Henrik Sedin and Daniel Sedin, who had 101 goals and 170 assists in the regular season, combined for 2 goals and 4 assists against the Boston Bruins, who shut out the Canucks 4-0.
Wednesday night in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final. As a team, the Canucks scored eight goals in seven games and were shut out twice. In a series where the chemistry from the Sedins was absent, they were on the same page in a somber Canucks locker room following the season-ending loss.
"Me and Danny have to score,"Henrik said. "We couldn't score."
"It's our job to score,"Daniel said. "If we don't do that, it's going to be tough for us to win."
Kesler's assist in Game 1 was a thing of beauty and it set up the only goal of the game by Raffi Torries. But a deeper look at the five points from the Sedins shows they weren't all that meaningful.
Henrik's goal came in Game 6 with the contest no longer in doubt. Daniel had a goal and assist in the Game 2 victory, but his other two assists came in the Game 6 blowout.
That all could've been forgotten forever with one good performance in Game 7, but it wasn't to be.
Kesler, who was believed to be battling an injury during the series but wouldn't admit to it Wednesday, had six shots and was dangerous on several occasions. The Sedins combined for five shots. Henrik had a chance to score on a 2-on-1, but his shot never got through to the nearly invincible Tim Thomas.
Kesler and the Sedins were minus-10 in Game 7 and minus-18 in the series. The power play that was No. 1 in the regular season and tops in the postseason entering this series finished 0-for-2 in Game 7 and 2-for-33 in the series. Making matters worse, the Bruins scored three shorthanded goals in the series, including a back breaker from Patrice Bergeron late in the second period that made it 3-0.
"It's extremely disappointing,"Henrik said. "We keep battling and we keep trying to score. We're the ones that are going to score, and we just didn't do it. We take the blame for that. I can't really give a reason (for the power-play problems). It comes down to their goalie was their best penalty killer. We did a lot of good things and just couldn't beat him. That's the way it is."
This is a series that some will remember for goaltender Roberto Luongo's extremely poor play during three games in Boston and a Game 7 that saw him allow three goals on 20 shots. But when it was all over, it didn't really matter what Luongo did when the players in front of him averaged a little more than one goal per game.
"We scored eight goals in seven games,"Henrik said. "He's not going to score goals. Me and Danny are the ones that are going to score and we didn't do it."
Daniel was given a chance to chalk up his performance to the brilliance of Thomas, the Conn Smythe Trophy winner.
"He was obviously great,"Daniel said. "But it's obviously our line's job to score."
The Bruins used a combination of defensemen Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg and Thomas to do something few have done this year -- silence the Sedins. Perhaps Kesler was hurt, but Henrik repeated himself one last time when asked if he was had an injury.
"Yeah. Couldn't score,"Henrik said.
That's an ailment that will leave the Canucks captain feeling sick throughout the offseason.