Dec 3, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks right wingKris Versteeg
(23) is checked by St. Louis Blues defensemanIan Cole
(28) during the second period at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
No. 1: St. Louis Blues
Blackhawks’ record against since 2005: 40-23-6 (includes playoffs)
I know I didn’t get everyone I could have on either irritant list. But it seemed a little more legitimate to get some names in the post versus typing “EVERYONE” in both areas.
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The rivalry between the Blackhawks and Blues goes way back before the 2004-05 lockout. This is only natural, as the cities are within driving distance of one another and had the Cubs and Cardinals as rivals in advance. Fans from Chicago don’t like the St. Louis outfits, and vice versa. It’s only natural.
But how has this rivalry become the best of the Blackhawks in the post-lockout era? Because both teams became good. And because these teams are polar opposites. And because they see each other a lot. And because the fans can’t stand each other and are constantly in close proximity to each other. Okay, there are a number of reasons.
Unlike with Vancouver, there isn’t necessarily a clear-cut starting point for when this rivalry got fired up again. When these teams have met in the regular season in recent years, the Blues have constantly chased physical play to get in the Blackhawks’ heads in an attempt to throw them off their game. It makes it all the more frustrating when the Blues manage to get one up on the Blackhawks.
The Brent Seabrook charge on Backes in the teams’ only playoff meeting post-lockout just made things more intense. In spite of that hit, this rivalry exists in my mind because the Blues are everything we don’t want the Blackhawks to be. The Blues get upset easily and follow the lead of their captain Backes, who picks fights when his team is trailing. The teams have been in constant competition as of late, and you don’t want the style of play you despise to defeat what your team does.
There are so many more things that could be said about this rivalry, but proximity, recent success and big personalities have made this the top rivalry for the Blackhawks in the post-lockout era, and that likely won’t change anytime soon.
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