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Best NHL Rivalries Off All Time

Updated on December 13, 2011

The Early Days Of The NHL

Where would the NHL or any other top major sport be with out great rivalries. NHL needs great match up rivalries, like Crosby VS Ovechkin. Black Hawks VS The Canucks, and the Bruins VS the Canadians. The reasons why hockey rivalry's start is because of, on-ice violence, familiarity with other teams,national pride,regional, and local match ups.

The early days of the NHL and the Stanley Cup saw some heated rivalries, like the crosstown match up featuring the Rangers VS the Americans. The NHL saw some tough times during the great depression and after ww2, but in 1942 the NHL was Known to having only six teams, that made up there in-tier league. today we know these teams as the Original Six.

Black Hawks VS Canucks

Eastern Confrence Rivalries

  • New Jersey Devils vs. Philadelphia Flyers
  • Philadelphia Flyers vs. Pittsburgh Penguins
  • New York Rangers vs. New York Islanders
  • New York Rangers vs. Philadelphia Flyers
  • New Jersey Devils vs. New York Rangers
  • Ottawa Senators vs. Toronto Maple Leafs
  • Buffalo Sabres vs. Toronto Maple Leafs
  • Boston Bruins vs. Montreal Canadiens
  • Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Montreal Canadiens
  • Buffalo Sabres vs. Ottawa Senators

Devils VS Flyers Rivalry

One of the major rivalries in the NHL on the east coast, is the one between the new jersey devils and the Philadelphia Flyers. Some know this rivalry to be called "Battle of the Jersey Turnpike." Most of the Devils fans live in the northern part of the state, while the Philadelphia flyers fans live closer to Philadelphia.

The Devils and the Flyers have the two highest divisional championships and they both together have 15 divisional championship wins. The Flyers and Devils is one of the toughest rivalries on the East Coast

Flyers VS Penguins Rivalry

Because of divisional match ups and graphical location, the Philadelphia Flyers and the Pittsburgh Penguins are one of most sought after rivalries on the East Coast. The rivalry started back in 1967 when the teams were part of a NHL League expansion.

The Flyers are winning the rivalry series with a 137-87-30 record, how ever the Penguins have knocked off the Flyers in the 08/ 09 Post Season playoffs, witch only added more coles to the fire.

Western Confrence Rivalrys

  • Chicago Blackhawks vs. Detroit Red Wings
  • Chicago Blackhawks vs. St. Louis Blues
  • Calgary Flames vs. Edmonton Oilers
  • Calgary Flames vs. Vancouver Canucks
  • Anaheim Ducks vs. Los Angeles Kings
  • Chicago Blackhawks vs. Vancouver Canucks

Thomas VS Price

Bruins VS Canadiens Rivalry

One of the greatest rivalrys in all of sports, is the matchup between the Boston Bruins versus the Montréal Canadiens. The to hockey clubs have played each other more than any other to hockey clubs in the NHL. Including both regular-season and postseason games.

The Bruins and the Canadians are part of the original six hockey teams, and they also play in the same division and conference, this recipe equals a long and very heated, in fact it's one of the oldest rivalries the NHL has to offer. The Boston Bruins won the Stanley Cup in the 2010/ 11 NHL season ,which would give the Bruins an edge on this ultimate NHL rivalry.

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Ovechkin And Crosby

Capitals VS Penguins Rivalry

The interdivisional rivalry between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Washington Capitals has been growing and growing throughout the years the Pittsburgh Penguins have the upper hand against Washington Capitals when it comes to wins in the postseason. The first time these two teams met the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Washington Capitals in five games in 1991 during the Patrick divisional finals. The Pittsburgh Penguins would eventually win the Stanley Cup that year.

The Pittsburgh Penguins, and the Washington Capitals have two of the most sought after NHL players, Sidney Crosby, and Alexander Ovechkin. The two teams faced off against each other during the Winter classic in 2011, when the capitals and Alexander Ovechkin were champions. Sme say the 2009 Eastern conference semi final series was the most exciting series in the history of the rivalry .where the Pittsburgh Penguins knocked off the capitals with a 6-2 victory in game seven.

Original Six NHL Hockey Teams

  1. Boston Bruins
  2. Chicago Black Hawks
  3. Detriot Red Wings
  4. Montreal canadiens
  5. New York Rangers
  6. Toronto Maple Leafs

Old School Rivalrys ( Classic Matchups)

  • Montreal Canadiens vs. Quebec Nordiques
  • Edmonton Oilers vs. Los Angeles Kings
  • Boston Bruins vs Hartford Whalers
  • Colorado Avalanche vs. Detroit Red Wings

Why Hockey Needs Great Rivalrys

Why hockey needs great rivalries? With great rivalries come great Exciting hockey games, hockey rivalries are great because it brings out the best of both teams. Hockey needs awesome rivalries because of the fans rivalries creates without fans there would not be any hockey.

Hockey is a great sport for rivalries because teams can compete physically with fighting and body checks, and there is also a mental toughness that goes along side the violence. Whether you live on the east coast or the West Coast all hockey fans can agree on one thing ,everybody loves a good hockey rivalrie.

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    • Chris Bauer profile image

      Chris Bauer 5 years ago from Boston, MA

      I disagree with almost every rivalry you included in here.

      Besides Red Wings/Avs, Penguins/Flyers and Habs/B's

    • Darrylmdavis profile image

      Darrylmdavis 5 years ago from Brussels, Belgium

      Amongst current teams, I would have to go for BOS-MTL (of course, I say this as a lifelong Boston fan ;-) ). That said, almost any Orginal 6 match-up within a given conference is going to bring a little bad blood into the game (a particularly good one which I do not see mentioned yet is Montreal-Toronto).

      Rivalries are important in any sport because they act like amplifiers of the normal realities and emotions in any game and provide an important link for gals to the game as well as helping to create identities for clubs.

      Nice hub! :-)

    • profile image

      Jeff 5 years ago

      Montreal-Quebec hands down. This rivalry polarised a whole province, journalists and even families. Players were already thinking about these match ups weeks in advance, even while they had other games to play first. It was absolutly insane. Nothing comes close to that rivalry. I know, I lived it.

    • newell12345 profile image

      newell12345 5 years ago

      Thanks guys, great feed back.

    • profile image 5 years ago from Vancouver / Bangkok

      @Joe ..

      Pretty stupid comnment man, "a team from Canada that nobody cares about"? Hockey is religion in Canada, and the Habs have won more Stanely Cups than the Red Wing , Hawks and Bruins combined. As far as what makes a good hockey rivalry, to think Canadian teams are unimportant is just plain ignorant! Bruins and Habs isn't what it used to be, but back in the day it was a premier rivalry.

    • profile image 5 years ago from Vancouver / Bangkok

      Wow, the fact that you consider the Red Wings vs Avs rivalry to be "old school", makes me feel like an old man. I can tell you that back in those days the rivalries were REAL, the players HATED each other. None of the recent rivalries, incl. Chi - Van, are anywhere near as heated as the Wings - Avs rivalry. I remember after one game, they had a bench clearing brawl, Roy fought Osgood, and it took them almost an hr to clean up the ice, literally sweeping and mopping up pools of blood. Those were the good old days .. let me tell ya ..

    • profile image

      jj 5 years ago


    • profile image

      Joe 5 years ago

      The Red Wings-Blackhawks rivalry is the best overall ratings matchup for the NHL.Bruins-Canadiens is not even an argument to be had simply because it involves a team from Canada which no on in the USA cares about.And the Bruins just don't have that same big following as the Wings do as far as a nationwide fan base.