Rivalries make sports that much more fun to watch and the NHL is no exception.
When two bitter rivals face off against each other, it can spellbind the fans and keep them on the edge of their seats. It makes an already competitive game that much more intense and it also makes for appointment television (or at least DVR television nowadays).
So which two teams have the nastiest rivalry in the NHL today?
In order to determine who these bitter rivals are, we have to look at things like the amount of times that the teams fight when they play each other, the quality of their games, if there’s a recent history of trash talking through the media and last, but certainly not least, if there’s a recent playoff history between the two teams.
After all, nothing speeds up a rivalry and multiplies the intensity between two teams like an old-fashioned playoff war, even if there isn’t as much fighting in the playoffs.
On the other hand, geography and the hatred between fan bases do very little to help the intensity of a rivalry, as much as some delusional fans would like to think otherwise.
Let’s be honest. We live in an era of pro sports where very few players were actually raised anywhere near the city they play in, so they could probably care less about an old-time geographic rivalry that is forced by the media and a bunch of fans drinking and yelling at each other in the stands (or over the Internet nowadays).
However, if a rivalry that was started on the ice has caused a new hatred to develop between two fan bases, then that’s another story, and there are certainly a few examples of that in the NHL right now.
So with the ground rules out of the way, let’s countdown the nastiest current rivalries in the NHL that have developed over the last few seasons.