Pittsburgh Penguins Fans Don't View the Washington Capitals as Rivials

Josh McCainSenior Writer IFebruary 7, 2011

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 06:  Alex Ovechkin #8 and Nicklas Backstrom #19 of the Washington Capitals rough it up with Matt Cooke #24 of the Pittsburgh Penguins at the Verizon Center on February 6, 2011 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
Greg Fiume/Getty Images

Right now I'm willing to bet fans of "Steel City" teams are feeling a bit low today.

Their beloved Steelers were beaten by the Green Bay Packers last night in the Super Bowl, and with Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin out with injury the Caps punched the Penguins in the mouth (Alexander Ovechkin did it literally as well).

With that said, this morning I've read several articles around the web about yesterday's Caps-Pens game, and a lot of Penguins fans keep saying that they don't care about the Capitals and that it isn't a real rivalry.

I must say that I disagree with that.

Sure, the media is going to hype it when the two teams face off because two of the best (if not the two best) players in the NHL play for the Caps and the Pens (Ovechkin and Crosby).

However, there is actual bad blood between the two teams. They really don't like each other. It's a giving that when they get together there are going to be big hits and at least one fight.

These fans also point out that the two teams aren't even in the same division and that the Caps' real rival should be the Tampa Bay Lightning, Atlanta Thrashers, Florida Panthers or Carolina Hurricanes.

Granted, the Caps are not in the same division as the Pens, but I'd like to point out that they used be before the league changed it up. Also the oldest team in that division outside of the Caps are the Panthers, who were founded in 1992.

I am also well aware the Hurricanes were once the Hartford Whalers, but the Whalers were never a rival to the Caps and they didn't become the Hurricanes until 1997.

So all of these teams are relatively new rivals to the Caps where the Penguins and the Caps have been duking it out since 1974, with the Capitals (especially in the playoffs) usually coming out the loser.

So maybe we lowly fans from D.C. might not mean much to the high and mighty fans from the "Steel City." We still look upon the Pens as a rival and we're going to get excited when we beat them.