TORONTO -- Nazem Kadri doesn't agree with the comments made by Washington Capitals forward Lars Eller following the Toronto Maple Leafs' 4-2 win against the defending Stanley Cup champions on Saturday, but he certainly won't forget them.
"Bulletin board material," the Toronto forward said Monday prior to the Maple Leafs' game against the Los Angeles Kings at Scotiabank Arena (7:30 p.m. ET; SNO, FS-W, NHL.TV). "I don't know how he can be serious with that comment. I understand they're coming off hanging a banner, but you've got to give teams respect that have earned it, and I certainly think we've earned it."
Eller, when asked Saturday about the Maple Leafs, who are 5-1-0, said he wouldn't put them in the same category as another one of Washington's rivals, the Pittsburgh Penguins.
"Nothing special, really," Eller said. "We're used to playing against [Sidney] Crosby and [Evgeni] Malkin. Everything kind of drops from there, so it's not that special, to be honest. It's a good team, like a lot of others. They'll probably be a [Stanley Cup Playoff] team, I'd think."
Center John Tavares, who has 10 points (six goals, four assists) in his first six games with Toronto, said he was not going to use Eller's comments as a motivating factor. Instead, he agreed the Maple Leafs have a lot to prove.
"We just go out and try to improve every day," Tavares said. "To make the playoffs and win the Stanley Cup, you have to go out there and earn that. From my experience, you try to respect every opponent and concentrate on improving."
Kings defenseman Drew Doughty, who was born in London, Ontario and cheered for the Maple Leafs as a child, has been impressed with what he has seen so far.
"I obviously grew up watching the Leafs, so I secretly kind of want them to succeed, too, except for when they play us obviously," Doughty said. "My friends are in my ear at the start of every season, ever since I was 5 years old, it's the same stuff at the beginning of the year. But this time, I definitely think the [Maple] Leafs are for real."