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NHL Pittsburgh Penguins

5 Pittsburgh Penguins Rivalries to Look Forward to in 2014-15

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5 Pittsburgh Penguins Rivalries to Look Forward to in 2014-15

Penguins Bruins Rivals
Winslow Townson - USA Today Sports

With the release of the 2014-15 schedule, it’s exciting to see when everyone's favorite rivalries will be going head-to-head. Hockey games are always more thrilling when there’s bad blood involved, so here’s a look at the top five Pittsburgh Penguins rivalries to look forward to next year.

5. Columbus Blue Jackets

Pittsburgh Penguins Columbus Blue Jackets
Russell LaBounty - USA Today Sports

5. Columbus Blue Jackets

Penguins Blue Jackets
Russell LaBounty - USA Today Sports

The Penguins and Blue Jackets have been in the same division for only one season, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t already some ill will towards one other. Driving distance between Pittsburgh and Columbus is only about three hours, so these teams are fairly close to each other. After the Penguins knocked the Blue Jackets out of their franchise's second playoff run last year, it's safe to say that the Blue Jackets will be out for vengeance.

4. New York Islanders

Penguins Islanders
Charles LeClaire - USA Today Sports

4. New York Islanders

Pittsburgh Penguins New York Islanders
Charles LeClaire - USA Today Sports

The Penguins-Islanders rivalry dates all the way back to the 70s. They have met in the playoffs four times and each series has been a roller coaster ride. In 2011, the Penguins and Islanders engaged in a massive brawl. After what looked like a giant bar fight in the Wild West, the two teams drew a total of 65 penalties. In the end, both teams posted a total of 346 penalty minutes. Penguins-Islanders games have proven to be anything but boring.

3. Boston Bruins

Pittsburgh Penguins Boston Bruins
Charles LeClaire - USA Today Sports

3. Boston Bruins

Penguins Bruins
Charles LeClaire - USA Today Sports

The hatred the Penguins and Bruins have for each other has become increasingly violent. Tension between the two teams started to really heat up when the Bruins swept the Penguins in the Eastern Conference Finals in the shortened 2012-13 season. During a game in the 2013-14 season, both teams made malicious attacks on one another, injuring several players on both teams. This rivalry doesn’t seem like it’s going to cool down anytime soon.

2. Washington Capitals

Pittsburgh Penguins Washington Capitals
Geoff Burke - USA Today Sports

2. Washington Capitals

Sidney Crosby Alexander Ovechkin
Geoff Burke - USA Today Sports

The Penguins-Capitals rivalry started in 1994 and is hotter than ever. When you have two of the best hockey players in the world (Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin) playing on opposing teams and vying to be the best, there’s going to be some tension. The Penguins and Capitals have met numerous times in the playoffs, and every time they meet it’s a must-watch series.

1. Philadelphia Flyers

Penguins Flyers
Charles LeClaire - USA Today Sports

1. Philadelphia Flyers

Pittsburgh Penguins Philadelphia Flyers
Charles LeClaire - USA Today Sports

In 1967, the battle for Pennsylvania began when both teams were introduced during an expansion of the NHL. Due to constant fighting and blatant illegal hits, the amount of penalty minutes both teams rack up during a single game is enormous. There have also been several strange, unnecessary on-ice incidents such as alleged biting and hair-pulling. Both teams have publicly stated that they do not like each other and it’s no wonder why.

Amanda Sklarek is a Pittsburgh Penguins writer for RantSports.com. Follow her on Twitter, “Like” her on Facebook or add her to your network on Google.