Milan LucicWhen it comes to rivalries, has lived many NHL lives.
He was in Boston to witness the most recent summit of the Bruins“Feud with the Montreal Canadiens. He was there when the Bruins ignited a brief, but bitter animosity with him in 2011. Vancouver CanucksStanley Cup Final. He was there along with the Los Angeles Kings2016: A taste of their rivalry with San Jose Sharks. He was there to see the Battle of Alberta. He traveled to Calgary to see the other side of the Battle of Alberta. 2022 Stanley Cup playoffs.
Some rivalries are what the man loves.
“I believe they only add to it. The history. The rivalry. It's all there. Lucic said recently that everything is magnified.” “Everyone is just more into it. It's more popular with the fans. It's more about the emotions. It is more interesting when the media and storylines get involved. It's something that athletes look forward too.
It isn't stars, highlights or personalities that the NHL has always been successful in marketing — it's the NHL's ability to market rivalries. The NHL even modified the playoff format to allow for more rivalry matchups in the early stages of the postseason.
What are the NHL's best rivals? We are glad you asked. These are my top five and some tiered levels to help you find the most relevant.
The Battle of Alberta has been going on for decades. as chronicled by our own Kristen Shilton here. I was not able to see much of it in the 1980s, which were the years that laid the foundation for the civility to come.
The NHL entered into an American television rights agreement with SportsChannel. They would only air regular season games produced by one regional sports network in Chicago, Hartford or the New York region. The Battle of Alberta was covered by the Northeastern United States like Japanese wrestling fans would hear about. Reading in the late edition of a newspaper about Wayne Gretzky's Oilers against the Flames was like reading in a dirt book about a five-star match at Tokyo Dome. Unless you were trading tapes you were out.
These problems are gone now that we have the ability to view this madness on every device. The Battle of Alberta is the greatest rivalry in hockey. These are some quotes from Edmonton ruffian Zack KassianLucic, Calgary
Kassian stated, “It's important for the teams and it's huge for the province.”
Lucic stated that the people of Alberta had been waiting for this since 1991.
This rivalry is a sign of one of the basic aspects of team sports. It's the same thing that you see in youth leagues, and then in prep sports. The determination to avoid shame and embarrassment at home. It's not the same as “bragging right.” It's the feeling of seeing a competitor in daily life because they are close by, knowing they have one over you, and knowing your failure has placed your neighbors in similar situations.
The Battle of Alberta is, in this sense, similar to hockey's Iron Bowl or the long-standing college football rivalry between Auburn, Alabama. The games have a significant meaning for everyone involved regardless of their records and no matter what the stakes. There are now stakes: the Stanley Cup winner will win eight games, while the loser goes home. This is the most meaningful version.
(Record: Edmonton is Alabama, home to the championship and the legends, while Calgary is Auburn. Auburn wins sometimes, but it is always a pain in the side for its local rivals.
Matthew TkachukIt was called “the greatest rivalry in sports.” It put on a second-round performance — they're off to a strong startIt could be a contender.
You may have been hoping to see a straight ranking between team animosity and team expansion. I don't think this would be fair. Consider this though: Are there better rivals than the Vegas Golden Knights — who went from being expansion sweethearts in four seasons to Team Schadenfreude within the span of four years — and the rest?
Consider the dance partners that the Golden Knights have gathered over the years. They have developed rivalries with one another. San Jose Sharks, Los Angeles KingsAnd Washington Capitals. They have heatWith the Winnipeg JetsThe Vancouver CanucksThe Colorado Avalanche. The Buffalo SabresWith the Jack Eichel thing. The Minnesota WildWith the Marc-Andre Fleury thing.
Consider how many Golden Knights fans revelled in the pain of missing the playoffs — it was similar to the end of “Return of the Jedi,” but they toppled the statue of Peter DeBoer at Coruscant.
It's Vegas vs. everybody. This, given the Golden Knights' history, is likely fine for them.
One of the biggest misconceptions about this rivalry, is that it was created from the Alex Ovechkin vs. Sidney Crosby grudge. Actually, the two franchises had heated rivalries for 10 years before becoming division rivals. There is still intense rivalry between these two franchises, and it is still a constant invasion of Penguins fans in D.C. whenever Pittsburgh comes to town. The dynamics changed when the Capitals won their Cup by defeating the Penguins. Washington wasn't just trying to conquer their tormentors in vain.
This feud still has a lot of juice — we were dangerously close to these rivals meeting in playoffs this postseason. However, the Penguins core is slowly dissolving, with Ovechkin, Crosby, and other superstar accelerants getting older. One wonders if this rivalry can return to its previous level.
These rivalries can grow and diminish in intensity over time, but the flame will never go out. Sometimes they meet in playoffs. It's explosive. Sometimes they do not meet for many years. You can pair them together at any moment and create a buzz within the building.
For many years, the Bruins were the Canadiens' most popular team. Recenty, it has been the Leafs. Toronto is the same, though Toronto's opening-round upset over the Leafs might have rekindled some animosity. It can be difficult to understand the obsession with Original Six Worship, but it is easy to see why when these teams renew friendships.
The Battle of Florida problem was highlighted in game 1 of their second round series. There's heat. There's hatred. There were games that were incendiary.
It's not even balanced.
The Lightning is chasing the Panthers. They aren't on equal footing yet. Florida has amazing regular-season numbers. Tampa Bay is proud of their two Stanley Cup rings. Florida has a shot at the throne. The Lightning try their best Mariah Carey impression of Jennifer Lopez:I don't know her.”
Chicago Blackhawks vs. St. Louis Blues
New York Islanders vs. New York Rangers
Philadelphia Flyers vs. New York Rangers
Philadelphia Flyers vs. Pittsburgh Penguins
San Jose Sharks vs. Los Angeles Kings
These are the old faithfuls. While some games are somewhat lopsided, there is always intensity when these teams play, even if they are watching YouTube videos of their past glory days. We hope that the Flyers can get their act together.
The troll feud: Hurricanes against Canadiens
The Hartford Whalers, the NHL's most famous franchise, sparked a feud that was unexpectedly surprising. Remember that 2019 will be the year of the Hartford Whalers. Canadiens signedCarolina star Sebastian AhoA five-year offer sheet valued at more than $42 Million was offered to the successful candidate. Then-Habs general manager Marc BergevinAho said that he “wants” to move to Montreal. He can see the future of our youth and he wants to join that organization.
Because the offer sheet was heavily frontloaded, it was seen as a challenge for Tom Dundon, Canes owner. The Hurricanes managed to keep Aho. GM Don Waddell stated, “Once more, the Carolina HurricanesNot to be underestimated
You can fast-forward to August 2021. the Hurricanes played the offer sheet game by signing Canadiens forward Jesperi KotkaniemiA one-year, $6.100,015 offer letter. Waddell trolling the Canadiens said that he wanted to move to Carolina. He can see the core of what we have built here, and he wants to contribute.
The trolling didn’t stop there. Kotkaniemi was the uniform number. Kotkaniemi was also awarded a $20 signing bonus to honor Aho's numero.
The Hurricanes and Kotkaniemi defeated the Canadiens in October 2021. The Hurricanes launched DidTheHabsLose.com immediately after the game. The site featured a banner image with the bold letters “YES” in bold letters. It was later hacked, and made into an anti-Carolina site.
Will this rivalry continue to flourish or will it fade into the ether like many memes?
Ready to explode
Anaheim Ducks vs. Los Angeles Kings
Colorado Avalanche vs. Minnesota Wild
New York Rangers vs. New Jersey Devils
Seattle Kraken vs. Vancouver Canucks
Both the Ducks & Kings are back on the rise, with Anaheim being powered by Generation Zegras while Los Angeles is combining their veterans with a young support cast to create a playoff squad this season. The next generation of Ducks will be able to feel the hatred and pride that comes with being a King.
We were unable to get the Avalanche and Wild in round two for two reasons. To play a few more games. Kirill Kaprizov‘s wizardry. This is second because it's a great rivalry that's ready to go for another round. The players do not like each other. The fansIt is reallyThey don't get along. These two could have a playoff series with the tension of an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm.
The Devils and Rangers look like a volcano that has spewed volcanic lava for around 20 years, then stopped. It was about the same time New Jersey developed an allergy toward the postseason. The Rangers are a serious contender. The Devils are… back in lottery. This rivalry is most intense when both teams are in the playoffs. It would also mean that less Rangers fans could afford to attend Devils home games.
The Kraken and the Canucks are the final two. This one will take some time as Seattle's path to contention is more complicated than Vegas' expansion team. When Seattle got its franchise, the NHL was most excited by the fact that there were two teams in the Pacific Northwest for an immediate rivalry. It will only take a few more British Columbians to invade Climate Change Arena.
We'd love to see other historical rivalries revived — such as the Detroit Red WingsFor example, the Colorado Avalanche vs. The Colorado Avalanche. the gold standard for hockey hatredover the past 30 years. We'd love to explore some of the current rivalries more deeply. Dallas StarsThe Nashville Predators.
The ones we have listed bring hate, heat and eyes to the NHL like none other.
Jersey Foul of Week
As an aside note to our Montreal vs. Carolina rivalry note above:
@wyshynski #jerseyfoul pic.twitter.com/inKmHSAGdN
— Jagrs beard (@jagrs_beard) May 6, 2022
This is a Jose TheodoreWe believe jersey was doctored up to be a Sebastian Ahojersey, who signed a contract with the Canadiens, but never played for them. You can hang it next to your Shea Weber Philadelphia FlyersJersey in the back of your closet
Video of the Week
Some bonds are stronger than hockey. 🥺❤️ #StanleyCup
(Via @NHLFlames, @JaneGaudreau) pic.twitter.com/2ugkWEmuAO
— NHL (@NHL) May 16, 2022
It is this time of the year that I begin to think about those players who aren’t playing.
Just like those guys who get traded just before a team wins the Stanley Cup. Karl AlznerI think of him. He was a nine-year member of the Washington CapitalsThrough almost all the playoff heartbreak during the Ovechkin Era, he persevered. In 2017, he signed a free-agent agreement with the Montreal CanadiensBoth parties would be devastated. His old friends made it through the next season and won him the Cup.
Like the guys who get hurt or lose respect with their teams. Sean MonahanBoth for the Calgary Flames. Monahan underwent season-ending hip surgery back in April. Prior to that, Monahan was relegated as a fourth-line player when he wasn’t scratched. This continued a downward trend of his production. In the final year of his seven-year contract, he was an 82 point player.
That season, his primary linemate was Johnny Gaudreau. They were the faces and voices of the franchise. This was the sceneGaudreau's overtime goal won Game 7 against Jake OettingerThe Dallas Stars. Monahan was hanging around the team. Gaudreau and Monahan shared this moment after the match, which Johnny Hockey's mom acknowledged.
“I wish that he was playing. Gaudreau declared after the match that Gaudreau was “just the ultimate team guy.” It was a terrible year for him. He's a great friend, teammate, and leader.
This is a beautiful moment. Be there for those who aren’t there.
The week's winners and losers
Winner: Ian Cole
Ian Cole, Hurricanes' defenseman, entered Game 1 against Rangers with 103 career playoff games and one career goal. The Canes' second win in this playoff series could be his most important, as he won the overtime game. As coach Rod Brind'AmourIt can be summed up as follows: “That's the best thing about this game. It's impossible to predict who will be the man. That moment is his forever.”
Loser: Mike Smith
Mike Smith's tenure with the Oilers is best represented by his performance as a goaltender. He went from being shut out in Game 7 against the Kings to being pulled in Game 1 against Calgary after getting smoked for three.
With his 64 saves against the Flames in Game 7, Jake Oettinger from Stars has made their reputation a permanent one-game loss. As Stars defenseman John KlingbergHe said, “I honestly haven’t seen a better performance by a goalie.”
The Athletic published details of the Coyotes' agreement with Arizona State UniversityThis week. Some of the most astonishing revelations were tamped down by reporters like Craig MorganMost of the hockey world won't remember Alex Meruelo's “good behaviour” clause, nor the fact that the team couldn’t place its logo on the ice at its temporary home.
Winner: Lane Lambert
It is my impression that Lambert was hired by the New York IslandersAs their new head coach? It's time. It might seem odd that an associate coach of the fired head coach can be counted upon as “a new source” for the team. However, he has been working tirelessly in coaching since 2002. It's thrilling to see him finally get his shot away from Barry Trotz.
Peter DeBoer, the Loser
Someone had to be responsible for the Golden Knights' loss this season. Bill Foley couldn’t fire the injured list. Interesting take here from Sin Bin“DeBoer's firing shows that the front office is impatient, indecisive and masters at disguise.” The Golden Knights took the quick decision, after some difficulty, to hire a replacement for their coach, instead of supporting him.
Loving the Byng is the winner
Hurricanes defenseman Jaccob SlavinNominated for Lady Byng Trophy for Gentlemanly Play, he has a chance of making history if it wins. Red Kelly, the only other NHL defenseman to win consecutive Byngs in NHL history, did it in 1952/53 and 1953/54.
Slavin seems to enjoy being recognized as a gentleman. It's an honor to be named as a finalist in any award. It's a character honor for me. That's who I want my life to be.
Loser: Hating to follow the rules
Cirelli came into contact with Bobrovsky's forehead in the blue paint. The Panthers challenged the goalie interference but it was still ruled a goal. pic.twitter.com/kVL3ILjZCL
— Ryan Gilbert (@RGilbertSOP) May 18, 2022
“Look, I understand the rule.”Anthony CirelliBobrovsky was wearing the blue and Cirelli was wearing the white. (I'll argue that Cirelli was skating in the blue, as he moved Bob’s stick as the goal was scored. However, if the rule states that a goalie should not be restricted from playing his position, and Cirelli's head is spinning around like Linda Blair in the “The Exorcist”, then what are we really doing?
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