Ryan Kesler strolled from the Vancouver Canuck players lounge into the main dressing room Tuesday, settled against a wall and waited for the media interrogation to begin.
First on the docket: The Feud.
Kesler and Chicago Blackhawk winger Andrew Ladd.
The cheap shot in last year's playoffs.
Kesler calling Ladd a coward this year.
Ladd nailing Kesler in the face when they fought.
Ladd mocking Kesler, pointing to the welt on Kesler's cheek where the punch landed.
Nasty kind of stuff, but totally beautiful entering the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, beginning Saturday in Chicago.
No need to manufacture any emotion when it's this real.
"You had to bring that one up, did you?" Kesler responded, smiling at his questioner. "I'm not too worried about him. I'm more worried about winning the series and trying to get even that way. So, no, no payback at all.
"It's a team game and we're focused on the main goal here. There are no selfish guys on this team who are going to try to close up an individual battle and make the team suffer."
Sounds like the feud is over. Maybe it is, or maybe Kesler is aware another inflammatory remark could wind up taped to Ladd's locker.
This isn't pro wrestling where there is a script and the outcome has been pre-determined.
"Ladd is a guy who plays hard," continued Kesler, suddenly going complimentary. "I don't think there is any rivalry there. What's done is done. We fought and that's the end of it."
Kesler did concede there is a team rivalry, though, one borne of last year's second round series won in six by the Blackhawks.
Vancouver led it 2-1 before dropping the final three. The Canucks haven't forgotten.
"I don't know if the Hawks don't like us but they knocked us out last year and I think that has a lot to do with the reason why we want another crack at them," Kesler explained. "It's good that we to have this do-over again. I mean, you watch the video after Game 6 last year and you see some pretty down guys in this locker-room.
"We played the best through three games last year and then kind of fell apart. We all remember that feeling and we're very motivated not to feel that way again."
Kesler also remembers that his family, who drove four hours from Detroit to Chicago for the action, were given a rough time by the fans at the United Center.
He doesn't want them to experience the hostility again and instead plans to fly them to Vancouver for Games 3 and 4.
"I don't want to put them through the way they were treated last year in Chicago," Kesler said. "They weren't treated well. I want them to see how we're treated here. I'd rather have them come up here and just see the atmosphere and how the people react because it's completely different than the regular season. The energy and the atmosphere in this arena during playoffs is crazy."
Meanwhile, Roberto Luongo also claims he doesn't have a feud going with any individual on the Hawks.
Winger Patrick Kane lit him up in Game 6 last spring, netting a hat trick. Luongo famously told Kane following the Olympic gold-medal game he'd see him in the playoffs. Now he will.
"I don't have anything against Kane," said the Canuck captain. "He's a great player. It's the Blackhawks against the Canucks. That's the only rivalry we're concerned about. It's nothing malicious, as far as I'm concerned.
"It's great that we're playing them. It's exciting. It's going to be fun and I'm looking forward to playing Game 1 in Chicago. It's a great building to be in during the playoffs."
Kevin Bieksa can scowl with the best of them, but he'll be scowling at the entire Blackhawk roster, not any one player.
"I have no personal feuds, this is not a personal thing for me," he said. "It's a series. I don't know what to expect after the whistles. Between whistles, I know it's going to be very intense. I know there are going to be a lot of finished hits. It's going to be physical. We obviously don't like them and they don't like us so it's going to be entertaining.
"They ended our season last year and it was a sour feeling. It's nice to get another crack at them."