The National Hockey League dates back more than 100 years. All six teams that originated in the league are still competing today. This rich history has helped create a lot of intense rivalries over the years. While other sports claim to have rivalries, they do not come close to matching the intensity found in the NHL thanks to the massive hits and legal fights. These are the four top NHL rivalries of all-time.
Montreal vs Boston
The Montreal Canadiens have built a lot of rivalries over the years as the league’s most successful team, but their most intense rivalry was certainly against the Boston Bruins. These two teams have faced each other a whopping 177 times in the playoffs. The rivalry was initially dominated by the Canadiens, but the Bruins have gotten the better of Montreal in recent years.
Edmonton vs Calgary
The only two teams from Alberta have built a strong rivalry since the Flames moved to Calgary in 1980. The two most dominant teams of the 1980s met in the playoffs five times over eight years. Calgary owns a big edge in the regular-season series, but the Oilers have won 19 of their 30 playoff matchups. The teams have not met in the playoffs since 1991, but that streak should end very soon.
Philadelphia vs Pittsburgh
The Flyers and Penguins have been battling to become the top team in Pennsylvania since 1967. In order to win over their blue-collar fans, this rivalry has been filled with a lot of violent hits and fights. The Flyers currently has the overall series lead, but the Penguins can always hold their three Stanley Cup titles over the heads of Philadelphia fans. The Flyers have yet to win the NHL’s top prize.
Colorado vs Detroit
While it was short-lived, there was not a more intense rivalry in sports history than the one between the Colorado Avalanche and Detroit Red Wings. The two teams were the class of the league for eight years beginning in 1995, so they met in Western Conference Finals almost every season. Seemingly every playoff game was filled with dirty penalties and lengthy fights. The most iconic moment of the rivalry is the fight between goalies Patrick Roy and Chris Osgood.