When the NHL approved the realignment sending long time rival Detroit to the Eastern Conference one could question who will be the Hawks new rival. The Red Wings and the Hawks have played more games against each other (725) than any other combination of teams. Though Detroit Sucks can be heard at the United Center and read on Twitter this rivalry is more about respect and the amount of times the teams have met than just pure hatred.
In recent years, the Vancouver Canucks have assumed the most hated rival of all the Hawks as you can go down their roster and point to almost every player on the team as a guy you hate to see lining up on the other side of the ice. Whether it’s the Sedin brothers to Alexandre Burrows, the Hawks and Canucks have played a lot of games, and three playoff series since 2009 against each other which forms a lot of hatred. The one thing you do have to say is they are talented at least on the offensive side which brings a little sense of respect between the two adversaries, a very little. The Canucks are led by Alain Vigneault which leads to a lot of hatred from his style on the bench and after games press conferences. The Canucks are hated, but after yesterday’s game it seems someone else is closing fast as the most hated rival.
When looking at the new Hawks divisional landscape their isn’t a lot of old time history involved with many of them including the Avalanche and the new Jets. The one team that does have history with the Hawks is the St. Louis Blues. The Blues yesterday tried their style of hockey to win against the talented Hawks and it failed. The reason fans dislike the Blues is because they play extremely dirty especially when they are losing with no chance of winning. The players chirp all game long even though they haven’t scored a goal in their own building against the Hawks all season long. At least Bryan Bickell was able to shut up David Backes with a goal and a big check at the end of the 2nd period. It’s one thing to play physical, but it’s another thing to play as if you are out to injury someone by taking unnecessary runs at guys. The best part of yesterdays game probably was when Backes was shoving Marian Hossa and #81 just laughed him away.
The Blues may not be the most hated team by Hawks fans yet mainly but all it will take is someone to take a ill advised run at a Hawks player in the last game of the season to catapult them to #1. Yes, Blues fans even with the Hawks streak way in the past you should worry about them because they are more talented. Even right now your still not #1 most hated from Hawks fans, but the cheap shot play may someday get you to the top spot.
The one thing that can be said about these two franchises is SCOREBOARD. Both teams have won a combined for 0 Stanley Cups and both teams have lost three times in the Finals. The Blues haven’t been to the Stanley Cup finals since 1969 while Roberto Luongo and friends lost the 2011 Stanley Cup to the Boston Bruins. Yes it was a long 49 years between Cups but the Blackhawks franchise has four of them in their long history. Both teams I can’t stand but in the new division the Blues may stand out for years to come as the most hated team the Hawks face every season.
What do you think? Are the Blues catching up to the Canucks as the most hated Hawks rival?
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