Monday, March 26, 2007

Best Rivalries in the NHL

I sure do miss the Av's vs Wings rivalry of a few years back, but in recent times that one has gone pretty much dormant for the most part. There was a time however when... it was the best!

Man, I miss those days.

Anyways, here's the best ones raging in the NHL... at the moment.

Ottawa-Toronto: Ottawa's regular-season wins only made the playoff flops -- the Senators fell to the Leafs four times between 2000-04 -- harder to take. Hockey Night in Canada's perceived pro-Toronto bias stokes the flames in the Battle of Ontario.

Calgary-Edmonton: Another provincial battle -- this one's for Alberta pride -- that peaked in the 1980s but still crackles today whenever Cowtown faces Oil Town. One team has reached the Cup Finals in each of the last two seasons.

Buffalo-Ottawa: Credit the Sabres' emergence as an elite team last season -- and their playoff win over Ottawa. But the tipping point has to be the Chris Neil hit on Chris Drury earlier this season. Now it's really a bad-blood rivalry.

New Jersey-Rangers: Hudson River Rivalry has evened out a bit in the post-lockout NHL -- at least in the regular season. But last spring's playoff sweep by the Devils certainly added insult to Jaromir Jagr's injury. Where's Stephane Matteau when you need him?

Rangers-Islanders: For once, it's not just geographic proximity. These teams met Sunday in a game that was crucial to the frantic playoff hopes of both -- and barely three weeks removed from that ugly Chris Simon stick-swinging incident.
I think I'd add the instate rivalry of Philadelphia Flyers vs. Pittsburgh Penguins to the mix, otherwise I agree with what's listed here.


JN said...

I would also add Montreal-Toronto somewhere in there...

oddmanrush said...

jn, your absolutely right, how cold Mon. - Tor. not be included? Please excuse the oversight.