Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 05/02/14 at 09:49 AM ET
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
...the real gem may be the first-ever battle of Southern California, the I-5 series, although to list all the freeways you legitimately could take to travel to the Honda Centre or the Staples Centre would fill an entire segment of Saturday Night Live’s The Californians (“you’ll never find street parking on Figueroa!”)
There is some genuine question about how much of a rivalry actually exists between the Ducks and Kings – and according to coach Darryl Sutter and the players, it is more manufactured than real at the moment. Players on both teams skated together during the lockout and in the off-season. Dustin Penner seems to alternate between one and the other from year to year (although this year, weirdly, he isn’t involved with either at the moment because Anaheim dumped him on the Washington Capitals at the trade deadline).
The Ducks’ Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry have played on different Canadian Olympic teams alongside the Kings’ Jeff Carter, Mike Richards and Drew Doughty.
“We’ve seen that before, with Calgary-Edmonton and probably some of those East Coast teams, until you play each other in the playoffs, there’s not really a rivalry,” said Sutter, on a conference call. “That was a big reason the league wanted to go to divisions – to get those rivalries. If you look at this, it’s exactly what everybody wanted.”
According to Doughty, even though “everyone wants there to be this rivalry between the two teams, I feel the players don’t have that yet. Now that we’re finally going to play each other in the playoffs, it’s going to create a rivalry. No matter who you play in the playoffs, it creates turmoil, it creates battles, and it makes you not enjoy playing that other team. So that’s what’s going to happen.”
read on with more talk on the other second round matchups...
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