Pro-sports rivalries seem to be an odd matter in Southern California. Do the Kings and Ducks truly have a fierce rivalry? Do the Lakers and Clippers? Do the Dodgers and Angels? Certainly, the rivalries take hold among a large segment of local fans on both sides, but when you think of rivalries, don’t you think of Lakers-Celtics and Dodgers-Yankees? And isn’t that because of some great playoff memories? To that extent, one could say that the Kings and Red Wings have the most heat, or even the Kings and Sharks based on last season’s playoff series. So the question, put to Terry Murray today, is, do the local teams need a playoff series against each other to really spark the rivalry? Murray indicated yes, particularly after it was pointed out that the Kings and Ducks have only once made the playoffs in the same season (last season).
MURRAY: “That’s amazing. I think it helps, whenever you have a couple years of playoffs. There’s a little bit more reason to get heated up for the regular-season games. But this is a great rivalry. They’ve had some excellent teams down there. They’re a Stanley Cup champion team. I think we’ve had some games, in the past, that get heated, a good rivalry.
“That’s when you’re going to see the rivalry really develop, when you get into those later rounds of the playoffs, whether it’s the second round or third round. I think that’s when, historically in the game, there’s a lot of hatred and heat that becomes a part of the game. It’s controlled, but it’s much more intense.”