No Toe Picks! Top Ten NHL Rivalries

Ron Johnson@TLCCaptainSenior Writer IMay 2, 2008

I may not know much about hockey, but I know a good rivalry when I see it. Whether it's a team or a pair of individuals, the NHL has brought us more excitement than a bull getting the matador by the cajones. With that said, let's hit the ice, knuckleheads!

#10) St. Louis Blues-Columbus Blue Jackets

#9) New York Rangers-New York Islanders (Liberty Slugfest)

#8) Minnesota Wild-Colorado Avalanche

#7) Detroit Red Wings-Toronto Maple Leafs

#6) Pittsburgh Penguins-Philadelphia Flyers

#5) New York Rangers-New Jersey Devils

Everyone gets whacked during this rivalry. The Rangers and Devils are either battling for playoff spots, wins, or the bridge that separates the Sopranos from Seinfeld. Either way, fans on the east coast love when these teams battle.

The only thing that can be said about this battle is that the Rangers and Devils have all the tools to leave us begging for a fourth period. As long as these two are still in the NHL, they will still find ways to drop the sticks and gloves. The names have changed, but the battles are still fierce.

To this point, the Rangers hold the cards, advancing to the conference semifinals by dismantling the almighty Martin Brodeur and the Devils.

#4 Montreal Canadiens-Boston Bruins

The Garden (also known as the Bruin Shrine) has played host to the intensity that is the Canadiens and the Bruins. The Habs have had some crazy things happen since their last Stanley Cup run, but in the long run, it all comes back to the these two teams.

During the season, the Canadiens straight up owned the Bruins, winning all their meetings, and leaving us breathless during their playoff series. Through seven games, the Bruins and Habs kept everyone on the edge of their seats.

Though there isn't many fights between the two, the rivalry is still as intense thanks to the die hard hockey fans who seem to have an orgasm during every game.

#3 Alexander Ovechkin-Sidney Crosby

This season was filled with individual efforts. But there were two men who had every hockey fan talking smack at the water cooler. So why the hype between these two?

Washington's Alex Ovechkin snagged 112 points through 82 games and led the team to the postseason. During the season, though, he had an enemy. But before all the anarchy that came with being a phenom in the NHL, Ovechkin started his career with Dynamo Moscow back in 2001. After several seasons with Dynamo, Ovechkin came to Washington stacked, jacked, and packed with unbelievable talent.

Ovechkin's adversary during the season was already being called a phenom. Sidney Crosby was already being called "the next Mario Lemieux." Crosby didn't take long to make an impact with the team as even the legend himself was impressed with his top pick from the 2005 Draft. During the season, he got 72 points through 53 games.

Despite all that, and even though one team is still playing while the other is watching TIVO, these two have started something big on the ice. And it will only continue throughout next season.

#2 Detroit Red Wings-Colorado Avalanche

I may not have lived in Colorado long enough to know this rivalry completely, but I did live here long enough to know the viciousness of the rivalry. Every year, I walked down the 16th Street Mall in Denver, and everytime someone walked down there with a Red Wings jersey, they weren't seen with the same look after that.

That's what makes this rivalry so good. Even if both teams flat out suck (which they seem to never do lately), the games are still dangerous and intense as the years when they met for the Western Conference. You want blood? You want animosity? You want a bonefied deathmatch? Look no further than this rivalry...if you're looking for one in the states. (hint hint)

Unfortunately, the Avs left their game in Minnesota because they not only lost their series against Detroit, they got swept in Denver. Still, this rivalry is one of the best, and people are still talking about it even after this series is officially over. But this rivalry was not the top best. That title goes to...

#1 Ottawa Senators-Toronto Maple Leafs (Ontario Street Fight)

Words cannot describe the animosity between these two teams. They've met in the regular season. They've met in the postseason. They've even met on the golf courses in the offseason. 

So anything I say about these two teams would do it no justice whatsover. Lord Stanley started this rivalry and fueled it in 1892 when he donated the first Championship cup to duke it out between "Canadia's" finest. From the brash brawls of Radek Bonk and Tie Domi to the postseason showdowns between Ontario's Bad Boys, nothing is better than watching the Sens and Leafs tear each other apart.

So with that being said, I will not try to disgrace the time honored tradition of the Ontario Street Fight. But I will say that since Canadia started the insanity known as hockey, they deserve the top spot.

Now hit the ice, and remember: NO STINKIN' TOE PICKS! Goodnight, Canada. 


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