EL SEGUNDO, Calif. – Maybe Los Angeles Kings star defenseman Drew Doughty and San Jose Sharks forward Logan Couture aren’t so close after all.
On Sunday at the Kings’ practice facility Doughty spoke with reporters for the first time since Couture ripped the Kings after the Sharks ousted LA in the first-round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Doughty didn’t respond to Couture’s comments that called the Kings “disrespectful” but tried to note that he and Couture, who are two of the better players from their age group in the NHL, don’t have a strong friendship, which had been written about multiple times in the past.
Both are from London, Ontario and played youth hockey together. Doughty is 26 years old and Couture is 27.
“I debated saying something but I didn’t. I don’t know … whatever. He can say whatever he wants. It doesn’t really affect us,” Doughty said. “I don’t even know what to say about that.”
Added Doughty, “To be honest everyone talks about this ‘buddy’ thing but we really aren’t that close. We really aren’t. We basically work out at the same gym and that’s about it.”
This hits back at a big storyline from two playoffs ago when Couture talked about how he and Doughty spend social time with one another every summer, but had to put their bond on hold for the postseason.
“We hang out by the pool, play some tennis, play some basketball and just be kids,” Couture said. “Two summers ago — I don’t know if the Kings want to know this — but we were short a goalie and he threw the pads on and played goal. He was actually a pretty good goalie, he stopped me a couple times. He brings that up often.”
Before their 2011 playoff series, Doughty called Couture “a good buddy of mine.”
After the Sharks eliminated the Kings, Couture hit hard at LA, especially at some words Doughty used about San Jose. When the Kings won Game 3, Doughty indicated the Sharks were thinking of the last time the two teams met in the playoffs, when San Jose blew a 3-0 advantage to lose to LA. After that 2014 series, Doughty took a shot at San Jose’s leadership group saying, "You could see it in their eyes and their team and their captains and leaders that they were worried about us coming back,”
Said Couture after Game 5 against LA, “Throughout the last couple of years things have been said by players on that team that to me I take it as disrespectful. It’s nice to stick it back to them and beat them in this series. Even in this series someone said on the team they had us right where they wanted us. Wonder if they have us where they want us right now.”
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