But they did.
The two rivals added fuel to the fire with the Flames down 4-0 when Tkachuk went streaking down the wing and Doughty hit him low, sending them both to the ice and sparking a scrum between the two teams.
The Kings went on to win the game 4-1 and their star defenceman said on After Hours that he only wanted to focus on the victory.
“When it comes to me and him, it’s just whatever. We won the game that’s all that matters. We gotta catch them in the standings, so right now they kind of still have bragging rights even though we spanked them tonight. But yeah, whatever,” he said with a laugh.
“I thought it was pretty quiet until that last play, I’m not going to not hit him, he’s right there with the puck. Make a hockey play. He waits till the whistle goes and kind of starts some stuff. It’s just the way she goes. We’re both just trying to win games. The game was out of hand, so kinda expected that to happen,” he continued.
The 29-year-old went on to claim that he’s had bigger rivalries, but as a fixture in the Western Conference, they haven’t caught the attention of the media. He named the San Jose Sharks veteran centre Joe Thornton and former Anaheim Ducks agitator and current Dallas Stars winger Corey Perry, among others, with whom he shares bad blood.
“It’s just part of my game, I need to have a rivalry with someone in order to have a good game,” he said.
“I feel like I play better, so I choose to do that.”
Despite the attention garnered by the hostilities between Doughty and Tkachuk, the former isn’t sure if it’s good for the sport.
“I see both sides of it. I mean, I kinda like it in a way, but at the same time, I don’t like it because that’s not the culture of the hockey world,” said Doughty.
“I like to do it in between the whistles and play my game in between and kinda win the battle that way. But it just got to a boiling point where I just couldn’t help but say anything. But now I’ve kinda learned to keep it to the side.”