With the Blackhawks coming to town this Saturday, a game which will be featured on Hockey Night in Canada, it begs the question: Can the Vancouver Canucks/Chicago Blackhawks' newly minted rivalry one day surpass the massive hate-on Canucks fans have for their bladed knuckle-dragging foes from southern Alberta?
Everyone knows great rivalries are cemented during epic playoff battles. Hands up, who would like to see the Penguins and Capitals go at it again? OK, put your hands down. You're embarrassing yourself on the bus.
The Canucks have a long history with the Flames in the post season. Unfortunately the name Joel Otto seems to have lost its ability to draw the respected amount of WTF from today's generation of Canucks fans.
My requirements for a first-class rivalry starts with a nasty season series followed by a matchup later that season in the playoffs. This was certainly the case last season with the Hawks and Canucks.
To send it into full on DEFCON mode, the two teams need to meet in the post season the following year, while the memories of why they detest each other are still fresh. Hawks hating Alex Burrows for pulling Duncan Keith's hair. Canucks hating Dustin Byfuglien for attempting every second shift to dry hump Roberto Luongo. You get the gist.
In a perfect world, if the Canucks win their division again they will have the No. 3 seed. The Hawks are destined for either the No. 1 or 2 seed. Which means if the Hawks land in the No. 2 spot, there is a chance these two squads could do battle once again in the second round.
If this happens, be prepared to diversify your hate portfolio because the only thing better than having a classic rival in sports is having two of them.