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12-09-2012, 11:41 PM
Big Phil
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Overall it is Russia, no doubt. This goes back to 1972 while the US goes back, maybe to 1991 at the earliest. Perhaps it wasn't until 1996 with the World Cup that the true rivalry started. So Russia has withstood the test of time with us.

I know one thing, that there is always this feeling in the air the day we play Russia that I never feel against any other country. It is a feeling that I've always got. I know that Russians are no longer "commies" but you know what, even in 2012, on the ice in an actual hockey game in my heart of heart they are still "commies" to me. I guess that's the power of hockey for you, it is just deep rooted.

The Americans are a clear #2 though. It isn't as if we don't hate them, because we do. But there has been less of a reason for us to hate them. They beat us in the World Cup in 1996 but until then we didn't really hate them because we weren't threatened by them. After that it wasn't until the 2004 WJC that we had another reason to truly hate them. Then of course 2010 again. Maybe in the Olympics there was some animosity as well. But Canada seems to win these battles more often than not. With Russia it goes in cycles. We all loved to see Ovechkin have to leave the game in the WJC in 2005. We also loved the 2010 Olympics because quite honestly the Russians seemed like the biggest threat.

I will still give the Russians the edge when it comes to my gut as to who the bigger rival is.

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