-- In hockey, the best rivalries are nurtured by proximity, or passionate fans, or maybe even a particularly feisty regular-season affair. But these, all of them combined, pale in comparison to the animosity that a Stanley Cup Playoff series can spawn.
Just ask Hockey Hall of Famer Mark Howe
"Rivalries just don't usually happen until you get to the playoffs, and the wars that get built up over a seven-game series." Howe told NHL.com. "It's kind of a hatred for each other."
And Gordie's son should know. In nine seasons in Philadelphia, his Flyers saw the neighboring New York Rangers
in the postseason on five separate occasions. Howe remembers the good -- he scored his only career overtime playoff goal to help the Flyers oust New York in 1985-86 -- and the bad -- a slew-footing in an early-1980s series left him with a severe concussion -- of the fierce rivalry with the neighbors to the north.
Many of the skaters who faced off in those bitterly contested series will go head-to-head once more at the Winter Classic alumni game at Citizens Bank Park at 1 p.m. on New Year's Eve.