The Most Hated Opponents for Each NHL Team

Nicholas Goss@@NicholasGoss35Correspondent IJanuary 6, 2012

The Most Hated Opponents for Each NHL Team

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    The NHL is full of rivalries and bad blood between teams, and it's this passion and hatred that makes the sport of hockey so fun to watch on a nightly basis.

    The Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens are just one example of two teams that hate each other, and while their rivalry goes back decades, some newer rivalries have taken off just recently.

    Let's look at the most hated opponents of each NHL team.

Anaheim Ducks

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    The Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks are the two most hated opponents for the Anaheim Ducks, mostly because all three teams represent the state of California.

    Each of these teams is very talented and has been a playoff contender in recent seasons, although the Ducks have some work to do in order to make the postseason this year.

Boston Bruins

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    The Boston Bruins hate the Montreal Canadiens with a passion, and the two teams are the greatest rivals in hockey. Period.

    The Bruins dislike a few other teams, maybe the New York Rangers, but none of them are worth putting here because the hatred for Montreal is enough for five teams.

Buffalo Sabres

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    The Dallas Stars and Boston Bruins are really not liked by Buffalo Sabres fans. The Bruins have owned the Sabres in recent seasons, including beating them in a first-round playoff series in 2010. Boston forward Milan Lucic also ran over Sabres goalie Ryan Miller earlier this season and was not suspended, which caused a lot of controversy.

    The Stars beat the Sabres in the 1999 Stanley Cup Final on a controversial goal by Brett Hull. That goal still haunts Sabres fans to this day.

Calgary Flames

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    The Calgary Flames really don't like the Edmonton Oilers because not only is it a Northwest division rivalry, it's a geographic rivalry known as the Battle of Alberta.

    I would also add the Vancouver Canucks as a team the Flames and their fans hate, but I would rank the Oilers as enemy No. 1.

Carolina Hurricanes

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    The Carolina Hurricanes have not been in the NHL too long, but if I had to choose a couple teams they hate, I would have to go with the Washington Capitals and the Tampa Bay Lightning, who are two teams the Hurricanes play in the Southeast division.

Chicago Blackhawks

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    The Detroit Red Wings and Vancouver Canucks are the two teams the Chicago Blackhawks can't stand, especially given their recent playoff battles, which have been quite exciting.

    Let's hope these three teams meet in this year's playoffs, because the hatred for one another will make for one awesome show.

Colorado Avalanche

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    The Colorado Avalanche definitely don't like the Detroit Red Wings, going back to their intense playoff battles of the 1990s. The rivalry has cooled off a bit since then, but the hatred is still there.

    The second team I would say the Avalanche hate is the Dallas Stars, which again is because of their previous playoff battles.

Columbus Blue Jackets

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    The Columbus Blue Jackets are another team that hasn't been in the NHL too long, but I can assure you they really don't like the Detroit Red Wings because they eliminated the Jackets in the team's only playoff appearance during the 2008-09 season.

    Columbus also has a dislike for the Chicago Blackhawks, who, as a Central division opponent, have owned the Blue Jackets for many seasons.

Dallas Stars

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    The San Jose Sharks and Anaheim Ducks are the two most hated teams for the Dallas Stars for the simple fact that all three are Pacific division teams that face each other often.

    The Stars really don't have a massive rival, but seeing these teams often has built a dislike for one another.

Detroit Red Wings

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    The Detroit Red Wings are the model franchise of the NHL and have enjoyed great success in recent seasons, but two teams that often stand in their way are the San Jose Sharks, and more recently, the Chicago Blackhawks.

    The Sharks I think are the most hated by Red Wings fans, but the Blackhawks aren't far behind. Hopefully we see these teams battle in the playoffs this season.

Edmonton Oilers

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    The Edmonton Oilers hate the Calgary Flames, and as I mentioned in the Flames slide, the rivalry is called the Battle of Alberta. It's a massive geographical rivalry that goes back many years.

    The Vancouver Canucks are another team the Oilers hate but to a lesser extent when compared to the Flames.

Florida Panthers

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    The Florida Panthers have been one of the worst franchises in pro sports for years, but this season they have played great and sit atop the Southeast division standings.

    Two opponents they hate are the in-state rival Tampa Bay Lightning and division rival Washington Capitals.

Los Angeles Kings

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    The Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks really don't like each other, and not just because they are rivals in the state of California. They are two teams that have also recently battled in the playoffs.

    The Anaheim Ducks share the Southern California hockey spotlight with the Kings and are another team the Kings and their fans can't stand.

Minnesota Wild

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    The Minnesota Wild are another young NHL franchise, but they certainly hate the Dallas Stars, who relocated from Minnesota to move to Dallas. Minnesota has gotten another NHL franchise, but the tension between these two teams is still high.

    Another opponent the Wild don't like are the Vancouver Canucks, who they are currently fighting with for first place in the Northwest division.

Montreal Canadiens

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    The most hated opponent of the Montreal Canadiens is obviously the Boston Bruins, who have knocked them out of the playoffs twice in the past three seasons.

    The Canadiens also hate the Toronto Maple Leafs, in a rivalry that hopefully takes off soon with the Leafs becoming a playoff-caliber team again.

Nashville Predators

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    The Nashville Predators have been in the NHL for a bit over a decade, but one opponent that constantly finishes ahead of them in the standings is the Chicago Blackhawks.

    The Detroit Red Wings could also be a team the Predators hate, and the two teams face each other often as Central division teams.

New Jersey Devils

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    Public enemy No. 1 for the New Jersey Devils is the New York Rangers, who are not only geographic rivals, but they have some intense battles on the ice every year. They have seen each other in the playoffs and just can't stand each other.

    The Philadelphia Flyers are another Eastern Conference opponent the Devils have met in the playoffs over the last decade-plus.

New York Islanders

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    The New York Islanders hate the New York Rangers not only because they are an in-state rival, but the Rangers have been the more successful team for years.

    The Islanders also have a hatred for the Pittsburgh Penguins, who are another Atlantic division opponent they have had some awesome battles with.

New York Rangers

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    The New York Rangers have several rivals, but the two teams they hate the most are the New Jersey Devils and Philadelphia Flyers.

    The Flyers and Rangers rivalry has had some intense battles this season, including the Winter Classic, and the Philly-New York theme is also a part of it.

    The Devils are a geographical rival that, as I mentioned earlier, have enjoyed their share of great battles with the Rangers, including the 1994 Eastern Conference Finals.

Ottawa Senators

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    The Ottawa Senators hate the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Montreal Canadiens for a few reasons.

    For one, these three Canadian teams have intense battles whenever they face each other, and two, the Senators want what the Canadiens and Maple Leafs both have, and that's a Stanley Cup.

Philadelphia Flyers

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    The Philadelphia Flyers hate the Pittsburgh Penguins for many reasons, two being that the Penguins have won three Stanley Cups since the Flyers last won one, and the two teams have an in-state rivalry that is intense.

    The Flyers also hate the New York Rangers.

Phoenix Coyotes

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    The Phoenix Coyotes are a joke and probably won't be in Arizona much longer considering they have ownership and attendance issues.

    They really don't have any intense rivalries, but I would say the Detroit Red Wings are a team they don't like very much considering they have knocked the Coyotes out of the playoffs in recent seasons.

Pittsburgh Penguins

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    As I mentioned in the Flyers slide, the Pittsburgh and Philadelphia rivalry is really intense, and it's one of the best in hockey. The two teams have had some awesome battles over the years and are always fighting for the Atlantic division crown.

    I would say the Rangers are another hated team of the Penguins, too.

San Jose Sharks

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    The Anaheim Ducks and Detroit Red Wings are two teams the San Jose Sharks and their fans hate. Both teams have won a Stanley Cup during the past decade while the Sharks have choked numerous times in the postseason.

    The Kings are also an in-state rival.

St. Louis Blues

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    The St. Louis and Chicago rivalry is present in every sport in which the two cities have a team, and in hockey it's no different. These two teams hate each other, and both have battled in the Central division for many years.

    The Detroit Red Wings are another team that the Blues have battled in the division over the years, though, the Blues have not had the same success.

Tampa Bay Lightning

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    The Tampa Bay Lightning have gone through some awesome battles in the regular season and playoffs with the Washington Capitals, as they both are in the Southeast division.

    The Lightning certainly don't like the Capitals, and they don't like the in-state rival Florida Panthers either.

Toronto Maple Leafs

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    The Toronto Maple Leafs hate the Montreal Canadiens, and their rivalry is one of the best three in the league; many would even say it's better than Bruins/Canadiens. I wouldn't go that far, but the passion and intensity of the Toronto/Montreal rivalry is really awesome.

    Another fierce rival for the Maple Leafs is their Ontario neighbors, the Ottawa Senators.

Vancouver Canucks

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    For the Vancouver Canucks' most hated opponents, I will go with three teams: the St. Louis Blues, Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers.

    The Blues and Canucks games are always exciting to watch, and the two Alberta rivals normally make for an intense game with Vancouver, too.

Washington Capitals

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    The Washington Capitals have been a top team for years, but they have yet to make a Stanley Cup Final appearance with Alexander Ovechkin leading the franchise.

    Two rivals they have are the Pittsburgh Penguins and Tampa Bay Lightning, both because the two teams always give the Capitals a good game and have eliminated Washington in recent playoff series.

Winnipeg Jets

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    Going back to the 1980s and 1990s, the Winnipeg Jets hated the Edmonton Oilers and Vancouver Canucks. Now that the Jets are back in the NHL with a good young roster, I expect these three teams to have some awesome battles over the next few seasons.


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