Forget any of the Original Six rivalries or the Battle of Alberta, the best beef in the NHL right now is between Drew Doughty and Matthew Tkachuk.
The two players have exchanged physical and verbal jabs dating back to 2017, when Tkachuk elbowed Doughty in the face. That incident led to a two-game suspension for the Calgary Flames star, but created a feud that is only getting better by the day.
The latest chapter in the ongoing drama was written Saturday as the two teams squared off for the second time this season. With the Los Angeles Kings cruising to an easy win with under 10 minutes remaining in the game, Doughty upended Tkachuk as he entered the offensive zone. Tkachuk retaliated by knocking Doughty to the ice and delivering a cross-check. Chaos ensued as teammates rushed to join the festivities, resulting in a good old dogpile.
Drew Doughty upends Matthew Tkachuk and a dogpile ensues pic.twitter.com/sbUrOM0YHp— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) October 20, 2019
“It was the first time we had a one-on-one all night, so I just kind of let the puck go and was going to go engage with him and he went low on me,” Tkachuk told reporters after the game. “Those are the moments you kind of black out and just try to get some punches in, I guess.”
Doughty is primarily focused on finishing above the Flames come playoff time, but admits the rivalry is something that elevates his game on a personal level.
“When it comes to me and him, it’s just whatever,” a light-hearted Doughty said on Sportsnet’s After Hours. “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...
“It’s just part of my game, I need to have a rivalry with someone in order to have a good game. I feel like I play better, so I choose to do that.”
Los Angeles and Calgary meet twice more in 2019-20 and those contests will be can’t-miss hockey as long as Doughty and Tkachuk are in the lineup.
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