by Patrick Hoffman on 12/31/11 at 03:00 PM ET
When it comes to the greatest rivalries in the National Hockey League, many fans will point out the obvious ones whether is the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens, Chicago Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings, Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens, and so on and so forth.
One rivalry that deserves attention is one that will get just that on Monday afternoon at the 2012 Winter Classic, the New York Rangers and the Philadelphia Flyers.
When the NHL decided that the 2012 Winter Classic would be between the New York Rangers and the host Philadelphia Flyers, I do not think they thought that at this point in this season, it would end being such a big tilt.
The New York Rangers and the Philadelphia Flyers have one of the greatest rivalries in the league. However, over their 44-year history of playing against each other, it has turned into more than a rivalry.
In two games this season, the New York Rangers have brought their game to the next level against the Flyers. On Thanksgiving weekend, the Flyers vs. Rangers tilt began at Madison Square Garden with a big fight between Rangers’ forward Brandon Prust and Wayne Simmonds followed by a fight between Prust and Zac Rinaldo.
The Rangers’ road Prust’s toughness and heart to a 2-0 win. The team got clutch goals, played solid defense, got great goaltending from Henrik Lundqvist and won every key battle throughout the hockey game.
Fast forward less than a month later to December 23 and the same thing happened. The Rangers used their toughness to overpower the Flyers in a 4-2 victory on home ice. Again, the team got clutch goal scoring, played tough, forechecked hard, used the body, and got more good goaltending from Lundqvist.
Even with all of that said, this upcoming Winter Classic is not just about the spectacle of the sport and two key points in both the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference standings. No, it’s about going to war and battling till the end.
While all the players may respect each other off the ice and in the off-season, it is a much different story come game time. These teams HATE each other with a passion and it can be seen during each game the two team’s face-off against each other.
It starts with the hard-hitting from puck drop, continues with a fight here and there, and ends with a fight to the finish. It is like this every single time the 6 games a season they meet each other.
So, while the game is going to be a great event and certainly bring about new memories, remember that for the Rangers and Flyers, this is just another battle in another year of war between the two Atlantic Division rivals.
Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
Tags: boston+bruins, brandon+prust, chicago+blackhawks, detroit+red+wings, henrik+lundqvist, montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, toronto+maple+leafs, wayne+simmonds, zac+rinaldo
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Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.
Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.
For questions, comments and hip checks, feel free to e-mail Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org.