My Four Most Hated Rivalries.


Today’s music video is The Resolution by Jack’s Mannequin.

With the start of the 2011-2012 hockey season getting closer I can begin to feel the blood in my veins begin to flow.  Thoughts of players coming down the wing, ripping a slap shot and the goalkeeper making a beautiful pad save.  His team c0llecting the rebound and flying back the other way scoring on the opposition’s netminder.  Some open ice checks that don’t involve an elbow to the head, and some agitated coach trying to do his best Bruce Boudreau impersonation at intermission.  Listening to Chelsea Dagger, as well as hopefully How You Like Me Know after goals have been scored.

While all these thoughts are beginning to toss around in my little brain, the idea of intense rivalries was being discussed the other day between me and some of my comrades here at the network of FanSided.  I thought what better time than now to list my Four Most Hated Rivalries.  Granted some of these intense feelings were built up many years ago, and while I’m potentially two times older than at least one of my writers here on our site, these feelings of “hate” run deep.

Number Four:  Philadelphia Flyers and Florida Panthers:

During the Florida Panthers cinderella season of 1995-1996 one of the teams that stood in their way was the Flyers.  With with players like Eric Lindros, Rod Brind’Amour, and Ron Hextall, head coach Terry Murray was in for a battle that  he wasn’t expecting.  The lunch bucket gang in Florida won the series in 6 games with the help of some stellar goaltending by John Vanbiesbrouck, and some stingy and punishing defence led by Ed Jovanovski Remember this?  From that point going forward this has been a matchup that has created bad blood every step of the way, and it escalated even more when Mike Richards cold cocked David Booth.  I don’t like their fans, I don’t like their attitude, and I certainly don’t like the fact that they continue to blame their troubles every year on goaltending.  Even though it might be true.

Number Three:  Carolina Hurricanes and Florida Panthers:

The Carolina diverCanes.  It seems that sometimes you just skate past them and they fall down.  Yet on ice officials seem to have seen some imaginary Panther player bump or trip them along the way, forcing the official to raise his arm and signal some infraction. Ed Belfour verifies this theory here. On top of it, it seems that every time the Panthers were close to a playoff spot during the season, the Hurricanes would be in the way, and hand the Cats a depressing loss.  I like Eric Staal.  We could have drafted him in 2003 when we had the first overall pick in the draft.  Pittsburgh wanted goaltender Marc Andre Fluery so we traded spots and moved down to third and took some lummox by the name of Nathan Horton.  I don’t like watching this matchup.  It’s too frustrating.  Plus we have to deal with this Jeff Skinner kid 6 times a year for the next 15 years? Ugh.

Number Two: Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks:

If not for a neighbor who might read this, I could go real ballistic on this one.  The games that these two teams have played give a new meaning to the term “blood bath”.  One of the most intense rivalries in sports, when these two teams take the ice, you can literally feel the energy level in the building build up.  One of the oldest and most intense matchups in hockey, these two original six teams don’t like each other at all, and the fans are just as detested with each other as well.  Don’t ever watch these two teams play each other with fans from both sides in the same room.  It’s ugly, nasty, and can ruin friendships.  Fights?  Bob Probert and Stu Grimson gave some tremendous battles.  Joey Kocur and Stu Grimson did as well.  Behn Wilson and Al Secord of the Hawks also stood up to the challenge.  I never like Sergei Federov, a very talented player who always seemed to have his best game when these two played.  Stevie Y, Lidstrom and even Dan Cleary get under my skin.  When these two meet, it’s always a playoff atmosphere.

Number One:  Vancouver Can’t Nucks and Chicago Blackhawks:

This one goes way back to the early 80’s when Canucks coach Roger Neilson waived a while flag feeling that his team was being treated properly by the officials.  It seems as though the Canucks and their fans have this feeling of entitlement towards them.  This rivalry heated up significantly in during the 2009 playoffs and while the Hawks lost in the conference semi’s, the ill will between these two clubs continues to get stronger.  The trash talking amongst them is classic.  I’ll never forget in the 2010 playoffs when one of the Sedin’s skated past the Hawks bench and Adam Burish jabbed, “Hey, you’re brother’s ugly”, and the who bench laughed.  Ahhh boys will be boys, but this matchup really gets my blood pressure boiling.  Hate is a strong word to use, but  with the Sedin sisters  who only seem to perform during the season, along with their completely overrated goaltender Bobby Lose, and the head coach who always looks like his speedo’s are too tight Alain Vigneault, this team is very easy to dislike.  They taunt, but can’t back it up, and the celebrate playoff series victories like they won the Stanley Cup.  C’mon, act like you’ve been there before.  Oh, wait….  Case in point, when the Canucks barely escaped game seven against the Hawks in the opening round of the playoffs this summer, they partied on the ice as though it was their biggest victory ever.  I knew right then and their now matter how far they advanced, they had just “spent” themselves.  I don’t like this team at all, plus the fact that about 17 8 Ex-Florida Panthers (from the losing regime) were on their roster jinxed them a little more.  So go waive your flags and set your city on fire Canuckleheads.  Nothing comes easy in this game, and you’re certainly not entitled to it either.

Honorable mention: Pittsburgh Penguins and  Chicago Blackhawks:

Even though it’s not a real rivalry this one hurts.  It used to hurt the most, but it’s subsided a little.  The 1992 Stanley Cup Final.  I was a season ticket holder for the Blackhawks, my last season up there before I moved, and if there was ever a team that was destined to win a Cup, they seemed to be it.  Rough, tough, skilled, and with great goaltending the Hawks played a style of hockey that was clearly very entertaining and physical.  Unfortunately the Penguins had “Super Mario” and Jaromir Jagr.  The Hawks were on an 11 game playoff winning streak heading into the final series, only to be swept in four games by Pittsburgh.  I watched in person the final two games of the series from my seat in the first row of the second balcony at the old Chicago Stadium.  The memory of watching Pittsburgh skate around “our home ice” with the Cup will be forever ingrained in my mind.  I dislike anyone who plays for them, and I always cheer for whoever plays against them.  Unless it’s Vancouver or Detroit.  When that happens I watch baseball.

Thanks for reading. We welcome your comments and opinions.  By the way, I’ve made it to day three of “my contest”.  Only two more to go!

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