Many teams and fanbases despise the Blackhawks and Blackhawks fans despise many teams.
In the United Center, we hear Detroit sucks every time the Red Wings come to town. In Nashville, the fans always say "hey, you suck" to any team. In St. Louis, fans don't take too lightly to Chicago fans coming down and packing the Enterprise Center.
Rivalries are the life blood of hockey and can be either long term or short lived. A full contact sport, any on ice action can lead to repercussions amongst teams and fanbases. Whether an on-ice brawl ensues, a bad hit, a controversial goal is allowed or a player signs with a rival team, these actions make up hockey rivalries.
Here's a breakdown of the top four rival of the Chicago Blackhawks.
4. Los Angeles Kings
Take us back to the glory days when the Kings and the Blackhawks were constantly in contention for the Stanley Cup.
The Blackhawks and Kings rivalry was short lived, but a fun one between 2010 and 2015. Between 2012 and 2015, the Stanley Cup went to either Los Angeles or Chicago. The Kings won the cup in 2012 and 2014 and the Blackhawks won in 2010, 2013 and 2015.
Both teams were similar in terms of goaltending, defense and physicality. Both teams faced each other in the 2013 Western Conference finals, where the Blackhawks won the series 4-1. In the 2014 Western Conference finals, both team faced each other, with the Kings taking the series 4-3 on United Center ice.
The most defining moment in the rivalry was Patrick Kane's goal, beating Jonathan Quick glove side in double OT to win the series 4-1 on home ice.
Needless to say, both teams were way too similar.
3. Nashville Predators
The rivalry between the Blackhawks and the Predators is not as popular as the rivalries between Detroit and St. Louis. I rank the Predators third because I find them annoying and we face them four to five times a year.
During the Blackhawks' playoff dynasty, both teams played a tight defensive game. Pekka Rinne was an outstanding goalie during his career, which I give him credit, but he was hard to play against.
The Predators had their struggles during the Blackhawks Stanley Cup era. The Blackhawks faced them twice in the Stanley Cup playoffs, winning in the 2010 and 2015 Western Conference quarterfinals. They seemed like an easy team to dispatch going forward, but once Peter Laviolette was hired, both teams went in opposite directions.
The Blackhawks' playoff dynasty ended after the 2017 Stanley Cup playoffs. The Predators were able to make it to the Western Conference semifinals in 2016 and the Stanley Cup Finals in 2017.
They swept the Blackhawks in 2017 and I respected their efforts throughout the 2017 playoffs. Many of their players proved to be a challenge for the Blackhawks' defense including Filip Forsberg and Ryan Johansen and Pekka Rinne was an absolute brick wall in goal.
The rivalry has died down as the Blackhawks are going through a major rebuild and the Predators are "somewhat" contenders.
2. St. Louis Blues
It was either the St. Louis Blues or the Detroit Red Wings at the #1 spot, but ultimately chose the Blues based on the shorter history of the rivalry.
The Blues were brought in as an expansion franchise in 1967. Former Blackhawks owner, Arthur Wirtz and former Red Wings owner, James Norris, owned the old St. Louis arena and wanted to put it to good use with an NHL team, similar to the Cubs-Cardinals rivalry. The Blackhawks were instrumental in bringing St. Louis into the league.
Back in the days of the former Norris Division, the Blackhawks-Blues rivalry was considered the toughest in the NHL.
The event most notably that defines the Blackhawks-Blues rivalry was the St. Patricks Day Massacre in 1991, where the Blackhawks won 6-4 at the old Chicago Stadium. Former Blackhawks forward Jeremy Roenick instigated a fight with former Blues defensemen Glen Featherstone beginning the brawl. The most notable fight was between Scott Stevens and former Blackhawks defenseman Dave Manson.
Twelve players, six on each team were ejected and a 278 total penalty minutes were given. Several players from both teams were suspended and both teams were fined $10,000 for the brawl.
The rivalry died down in the late 1990's and was revived in the early 2010's based on each team's success. Both teams had their fair share of success in the 2010's, with the Hawks winning three cups and the Blues winning one in 2019 and were constantly is competition for the top spot in the Central Division.
Some notable moments of the rivalry in the 2010's include the Brent Seabrook hit on David Backes in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the controversial Andrew Shaw go ahead goal in game 2 of the 2016 playoffs and Troy Brouwer's go ahead goal in game 7 of the 2016 playoffs.
Many key players and one family have left their mark on this rivalry including the Sutter family (Darryl, Brent Sutter for the Blackhawks) and Brian Sutter for the Blues. Former Blackhawks forward Brandon Saad, who won two cups with the Hawks, signed a five year deal with the Blues, former Blackhawks enforcer Brandon Bollig was the first St. Louis born player to win the Stanley Cup (ironically while a member of the 2013 Stanley Cup team) and former Blackhawks forward Troy Brouwer, who scored the go ahead GWG in the 2016 matchup.
Joel Quenneville was the head coach of the Blues from 1996-2004 and head coach of the Blackhawks from 2008-2018. Coach Q has often called the Blues one of the toughest rivals of the Blackhawks.
Whether it's the Cubs-Cardinals rivalry or the Blackhawks-Blues Rivalry, a matchup between Chicago and St. Louis means business and the atmosphere always feels like a playoff game. Having been to school in St. Louis, I know how much the Blues mean to the Greater St. Louis area and the state of Missouri. Sure, a sea of red is seen in the crowd of the Enterprise Center, but the passionate noise of Blues fans drown out Blackhawks fans.
Both teams play a tough, physical game and stars on both teams steal the show, whether it's Patrick Kane or Vladimir Tarasenko.
The Blackhawks currently lead the all time record against the Blues, 188-150-35-11 in 384 total meetings.
Sure, St. Louis based publications can call our entire fanbase bandwagons or terrible. In their minds, they still live between 1997 and 2007 and just choose to forget what happened in the years before that because the Blackhawks were going through a major rebuild and no one was going to the United Center. We won three cups between 2010 and 2015 and it took the Blues 52 years to win one.
Since their 2019 cup run, Blues fan have shoved it in the face of Blackhawks fans ever since. They still got five more to catch up to us.
If you want to learn more about the rivalry, I'd suggest watching this video about the rivalry, created by the NHL Network.
1. Detroit Red Wings
Ranking Detroit number one seemed like a given because they have been in the league almost the same amount as the Hawks.
Out of all teams listed, I respect Detroit the most based on their long standing history in the NHL.
Sure, they may be in the Eastern Conference and we played them eight times during the 2021 campaign, but a Chicago-Detroit matchup always means business to us Chicagoans. Whether it's reliving the glory days of the Dream Team and the Pistons or a Bears-Lions matchup, Chicago and Detroit fans do not like each other.
Both teams have faced each other more times than any other teams in the NHL.
Lots of die hard Blackhawks fans consider Detroit as the main rival, but with their move to the Eastern Conference in 2013, some believe the rivalry has significantly died down. Both teams only meet up twice a year, with the exception of the 2021 season where both teams faced each other eight times. Let's take a trip down memory lane with a brief history of the rivalry.
Both teams were founded in 1926 (with Detroit formerly being named the Cougars and Falcons, before being renamed the Red Wings in 1932). The Blackhawks won their first Stanley Cup in 1934 and the Red Wings in 1936. The Red Wings were dominant in the 1940's and 1950's, winning five Stanley Cups. Several players were popular with the Red Wings including Gordie Howe, Sid Abel and Ted Lindsay, who was traded to Chicago in 1957 and spent three seasons with the teams.
The rivalry was considered dead in the 1970's and 1980's with the Blackhawks going on a cup drought and Detroit being consistently out of the playoffs and did not face each other that often. Both teams were placed into the Norris Division in 1981 and faced each other more often. Both teams faced each other five times between 1985 and 1995, with Chicago winning three out of five.
In the late 1990's, the Blackhawks traded many of their star players and it had been 30+ years since the Hawks won a cup. Detroit won the cup in 1997, 1998, 2002 and 2008, while the Hawks were going through a lengthy rebuild.
After the Blackhawks drafted Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, the Hawks looked to establish their young presence against the established Detroit Red Wings, having Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg. In the 2008-2009 season, the Blackhawks' future looked bright with the hiring of Joel Quenneville. In 2009, Wrigley Field hosted a Winter Classic matchup between both teams, with Detroit winning the game 6-4.
In 2009, Wrigley Field hosted a Winter Classic matchup between both teams, with Detroit winning the game 6-4.
Both teams met each other in the 2009 Western Conference Finals, with the Blackhawks looking to show up against the established Detroit Red Wings. Detroit took the series 4-1.
Marian Hossa shocked the hockey world by signing a 13 year contract with the Blackhawks after coming up short in the 2009 Stanley Cup Finals with the Detroit Red Wings. The Hawks finally ended their 49 year cup drought and Hossa was a major part of the cup run
In 2013, both teams met each other in the Western Conference semifinals. The Blackhawks had the best record in the NHL and the Detroit Red Wings had to fight their way to the playoffs with their aging core.
Detroit took a 3-1 series lead and the Blackhawks stormed back in game 5 and 6. Game 7 was considered controversial due to the Niklas Hjalmarsson goal being disallowed in the third period, which the game went to overtime. Brent Seabrook ended the Detroit Red Wings with his overtime goal and one of the most memorable moments in the 87 years of the rivalry.
After the 2013 season, the Detroit Red Wings moved to the Eastern Conference and both teams meet only twice a year.
The Red Wings lead the all time rivalry, 410-320-85-15, with eleven Stanley Cups to their name, compared to the six the Blackhawks have. The Blackhawks lead the all time postseason record, with a 43-38 advantage.
If you want to learn more about the rivalry, I'd suggest watching this video about the rivalry, created in 2013 and broadcast on the NHL Network.