VANCOUVER - The NHL Western Conference final hasn't even started but Kevin Bieksa has thrown the first hit.
The sharp-tongued Vancouver Canuck defenceman took a few verbal shots at former teammate Kyle Wellwood, who now plays for the San Jose Sharks.
Bieksa was asked Saturday about some comments Wellwood made earlier this year when he questioned the Canucks' ability to win in the playoffs.
"I don't even remember what that weasel said," snorted Bieksa.
In an interview, Wellwood said he liked playing for the Sharks because they are a more mature team and "they're not so scared of losing."
That brought a laugh from Bieksa.
"When we had him on our squad we were afraid to lose," he said. "He was the smallest third-line centre in the league at that point."
Wellwood wasn't immediately available for comment.
The Canucks and Sharks play Game 1 in the Western Conference final Sunday (CBC, 8 p.m. ET).