Boudreau, after picking Kings to win Cup: “I can’t really sit here and say, ‘I hope they win'”

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Shortly after signing a two-year extension to coach the Anaheim Ducks, Bruce Boudreau clarified his decision to pick Los Angeles — Anaheim’s bitter rival — to win the Stanley Cup.

“I’m happy in the sense that I think it will grow hockey in Southern California,” Boudreau said of the Kings’ playoff success. “But, I gotta be honest, I can’t really sit here and say, ‘I hope they win.’”

See, Boudreau can’t openly root for the Kings now that he’s embroiled in the Freeway Face-Off. Linked by Interstate 5 and a shared dislike for one another, Anaheim and Los Angeles have built up a healthy rivalry — but it’s the Ducks that hold major bragging rights.

They’ve won a Stanley Cup (in 2007). The Kings haven’t.

Haven’t yet, anyway.

“I didn’t want to do it, but I picked L.A. to win the West,” Boudreau told the OC Register. “I thought they were the toughest team we played, especially coming down the stretch when teams had to win.

“For years, I’ve liked [Jonathan] Quick. I think he’s a tremendous goaltender. I’ve had Dustin Brown [in AHL Manchester] and I’ve always loved what he’s done.”

Careful there, Bruce. You’re starting to sound awful complimentary.