The Los Angeles Kings struck first in their playoff series against the Vancouver Canucks, winning Game 1 4-2. They may have also struck the first blow in what is sure to be a heated battle between fans of the hockey franchises.
"To everyone in Canada outside of BC, you're welcome," the LA Kings twitter account posted shortly after the team's win on Wednesday night.
Many were not amused by the tweets (see our slideshow below). "What a classy organization you have there. There are Canucks fans world wide. Try not to be sore winners please," tweeted @lolosum.
"Jerk move with that tweet. Apparently class is not valued in LA. Although maybe that's not news?," tweeted @k8senkow.
ESPN's Chris Jones also got into the act. "YOU STOLE GRETZKY #neverforget," the sportswriter posted.
The Kings' tweet, of course, toyed with the idea that the Canucks, one of two Canadian teams in the NHL playoffs this year, is largely reviled outside of B.C. And maybe one of the league's most despised teams.
“They are the most arrogant team I played against and the most hated team I’ve ever played against,” said former NHLer and Boston Bruin Mark Recchi in an interview.
Others say it's the team's on-ice theatrics: the diving, after-the-whistle embellishments and the odd-biting episode.
"They have those guys who do things that tick you off on the ice to get under your skin, and some of them are good at it. If they're losing, you can blow them off. But because they're good, it definitely makes it more annoying," said Kings defenceman Drew Doughty.
Others chalk it up to the fans, some of whom got a bit too rowdy after last year's Stanley Cup loss.
Whether you love or hate the Canucks, the Kings tweet raised eyebrows and may have crossed a line. The Globe and Mail is reporting that LA Kings vice-president of communications Mike Altieri is "addressing" the situation.