LA Kings defenseman (and professional creeper) Drew Doughty fired the first shot by claiming the Kings are the better team than the Ducks, even though they sit nine points behind Anaheim. That, my friends, is called 'bulletin board material'.
Drew Doughty fired the first shot when speaking the with LA Times:
"To see them up there, a team in our division, a team that I think all of us in here feel for sure that we're a better team than them, that kind of makes us frustrated and not happy with the way our season's gone so far."
Ohhhh re-e-e-a-l-l-y, Mr. Doughty. The Ducks responded as we expected them to, with humility and reverence for the current Cup winners.
First, Bruce Boudreau:
"Well, they are the Stanley Cup champions," he said. "They are the better team. We're just the little guys trying to do good."
Bobby Ryan chipped in to the conversation, too:
"... This team in here believes in what we've done and we believe we've earned where we are. We just need to continue to prove that to other people. ... People don't see us as a top-tier team but we've proving everybody wrong. We're going to continue to try to do so ... There's no bragging rights on the Stanley Cup anymore. I think now it's going to be a head-to-head matchup. Obviously being up 1-0 gives you a little comfort room and a little bragging for this year. It doesn't mean anything if you don't win the second one and keep moving."
Admit it, you've been waiting for this moment.
The Ducks and Kings have been a "rivalry" since inception of the Mighty Ducks franchise. The rivalry was created purely by how close in proximity the two teams. Now that both teams are having relative success at the same time, Ducks have won six-straight and Kings have won three-straight, and with Doughty's musings, the quotation marks are removed and the rivalry really has become real.
On a side, somewhat game related note, Chris and I were debating revenge tactics earlier. The last game the Kings and Ducks played, Jarret Stoll smashed Cam Fowler's face into the boards. As we know, Stoll was not given the Shanaban and we lost Fowler for nine games due to an 'upper-body injury' (i.e. concussion).
If you were the Ducks, what would you do? (And 'do nothing' is not an option for purposes of discussion.)
Jen's version: Put Brad Staubitz in the game and allow him to take runs at Stoll every shift, in the hopes Staubitz does something pretty bad and is thrown out of the game. He's terrible and a big liability. Might as well let him get 45 seconds of ice time and a possible suspension.
Chris' version: Originally it was to put Starburns in to fight Stoll. Then he said, if it's just going to be a fight, keep Starburns out of the lineup and let Beleskey fight him. At least Bels will only sit for five and will be useful later on.
We did agree that if Carlyle were still coaching the team, he would have flown in Jean-Pierre-Luc-Picard-Baguette (Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond) from Norfolk to behead Stoll and serve the super long suspension in a series of road games, a la JF Jaques.