In the early goings of the 2021 season, LA Kings defenseman Drew Doughty said that some bad blood has developed with the Minnesota Wild.
We knew entering the modified 2021 season, playing seven teams eight times would result in some rivalries that normally wouldn’t present themselves. Historically, the LA Kings and Minnesota Wild have played each other three-to-four times a year, with the Wild’s true rivals coming from the Central division.
Shifted into the West Division, the Kings kicked off the season against the Wild, and their series will be wrapped up after the first 21 games.
It only took three seconds into Thursday’s series finale for Kurtis MacDermid and Marcus Foligno to drop the gloves. The two were chirping at each other before puck drop, resulting in the two exchanging blows.
“There’s gonna be lots of bad blood this season because we’re playing teams so much,” Doughty told the media after Thursday’s game. “In the past, I don’t think there’s a ton of bad blood with Minnesota, but yeah, I guess maybe tonight some of that started.”
Thursday was arguably Doughty’s best game of the young season, tallying a power play goal in the second period.
As the game progressed, the LA Kings lost both Matt Roy on an illegal boarding penalty from Kevin Fiala and Sean Walker on a slapshot from Matt Dumba. Fiala was suspended three games without pay for his actions, but Dumba’s was dumb luck.
“I feel so bad about that,” Dumba said after the game. “It’s got to be one of the worst shots I’ve taken in my career. I’ve got to go apologize after this.”
Still, it left another bruise, no pun intended, on what figures to be an intense final four games between the two teams. The Kings and Wild will meet again for a two-game set at Staples Center beginning February 13.