Drew Doughty was fired up after scoring the overtime winner to defeat arch nemesis Matthew Tkachuk and the Calgary Flames on Wednesday night. One night later, Doughty and the Los Angeles Kings fizzled out with an 8-2 loss to the Vancouver Canucks, prompting some more fiery quotes from the defenceman, who called the demoralizing loss “[expletive] just embarrassing.”
“A team like that should not be beating a team like ours 8-2,” Doughty, who has a history of hating the Canucks, told reporters after the game. “There’s absolutely no way.”
The Canucks’ dominant victory came on an important night for Vancouver. Prior to puck drop, the team announced Bo Horvat as the 14th captain in franchise history with an emotional pre-game ceremony. The stage was set for a big home win to usher in the new era after starting the season 0-2, and the Canucks seized the opportunity with 14 different Canucks getting on the scoreboard to mark the occasion – including the new captain himself.
Doughty wasn’t the only one who ripped into his team after the loss, which brings L.A. to 1-2 on the year so far. Kings head coach Todd McLellan called out his club, too, with what could be interpreted as an early-season ultimatum for some.
“Some of the players that I think we’ve counted on, or we need to count on, have to play a lot better or they don’t belong in the League,” McLellan said after the game, his third as Kings head coach.
We knew this might not be an easy season for L.A., a team that looks like it’s caught between contention and a rebuild, with an aging core not too far removed from two Stanley Cups in three years but with only one playoff win in the five springs since.
The Kings now have until Saturday to collect themselves and regroup before their own home opener when they host the Nashville Predators. And it likely won’t be long before we’ll be hearing from Doughty again as he’s back up against his favourite Western Canadian clubs later this month — the Kings host the Flames on Oct. 19 and will meet the Canucks again (in L.A., this time) Oct. 30.