Over the last few seasons the Vancouver Canucks and Los Angeles Kings have become more and more familiar with one another, but is this a new rivalry brewing in the Western Conference? During the first round of last years playoffs we saw a new heat between two teams both searching for their first championship title. The big, young, aggressive Kings would be the first to do so, defeating the New Jersey Devils in game 6 of the 2012 Stanley Cup Final. Dominating the two-time Presidents Trophy winners is never an easy task, but the Kings certainly made it look like it, sparking what many people believe will be a serious rivalry in the NHL in coming seasons.
One of the biggest reasons to expect a rivalry sometime soon is the NHL’s realignment plan, which would place Vancouver and LA in the same division creating more games and of course, more opportunity to build hate. Having the two teams in the same division would also create more heat in the playoff race, as both teams have had frequent appearances in the post-season as of late.
Team grit will play a huge part in developing conflict between the two clubs, as the Kings are already a gritty and aggressive team, and the Vancouver Canucks are starting to head in that direction. With winger Zack Kassian continuing to develop and the recent acquisition of Tom Sestito, a clash between two Western Conference contenders is far from out of the picture.
Only time will show us whether or not the expected will happen, but it’s a fair assumption to picture a new rivalry on the Pacific. Until next time folks, have a good, hockey filled night.