The NHL's 10 Best Team Rivalries

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The NHL's 10 Best Team Rivalries

If you've ever played competitive sports of any kind, you likely know the joy that comes with a very special kind of hatred generated by team rivalries.

The animosity that exists between rivals is born out of a strange mix of respect, dislike, malice and schadenfreude.

When this type of emotion exists between squads, what is usually a simple match-up between a home and an away team becomes nothing short of a battle between good and evil.

Of course, which side is which is always a matter of opinion.

But, for a player there is nothing better than facing off against a team populated with players you're quite certain you could murder in cold blood, and still have no trouble looking yourself in the mirror the next morning.

For NHL fans, the emotions generated by team rivalries are often no less intense than they are for the players.

If you've supported your team in an arch rival's barn, you know that fans of the other side have no qualms about publicly questioning your parentage, sexuality, intelligence or whether or not you know exactly where you can stick that jersey you're wearing.

Team rivalries, for hockey fans, do an almost impossible thing: they make the greatest team sport in the world, even better.

In general, one can trace a rivalry's roots to three sources: regional, divisional and, most often, the playoffs. In the best cases, rivalries are a mix of all three of these components, making every tilt between the two teams a must-watch event that's sure to feature some fireworks.

Bleacher Report has compiled a list of the 10 best current team rivalries in the NHL. However, it must be noted that this is not an actual ranking, rather, a compilation of the collective best.

To rank these rivalries one through ten would be an exercise in futility as, clearly, the best rivalry is the one you are a part of.

Some of these are the result of regional beefs, others emerged almost exclusively in the post-season.

Whatever their origins, whenever one of these games comes on the schedule, you can bet you're in store for a pretty damn entertaining hockey game.

With that said, feel free to make your case for whatever rivalry might be yours being the best of the bunch, just make sure to post it!

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