The Battle of the Hudson River is back.
No one likes a rivalry when both teams stink. That's been the case for the New Jersey Devils and New York Rangers in recent years. Since their 2012 Eastern Conference tilt, the two teams have fallen to mediocrity as they both make their way through rebuilds. However, the results of the NHL Draft Lottery have reignited the hate as we look towards a Kaapo Kakko vs. Jack Hughes rivalry for many years to come.
Jack Hughes and Kaapo Kakko likely joining the Battle of the Hudson. Now that's a hell of a start to the offseason for the Devils and Rangers.— Dan Rosen (@drosennhl) April 10, 2019
Both teams could not have asked for a better start to their respective offseasons.
The Rangers and Devils rivalry became one of the most heated in the league in the mid-90s. In the 1994 Eastern Conference Finals, Valeri Zelepukin scored the game-tying goal with 7.7 seconds left in Game 7. Stephane Matteau scored his infamous double-OT goal to advance the Rangers past the Devils and onto their first Stanley Cup in 54 years.
The two teams were powerhouses in the 90s, as the Devils won the Cup in the following season. Then in 2012, the Devils advanced to the Stanley Cup with an overtime winner in Game 6 against the Rangers. However, in recent years both teams have been rebuilding and fell down the standings.
A new era is upon us as Devils are slated to draft Jack Hughes and the Rangers draft Kaapo Kakko. Both have the potential to be generational talents.
The Draft Lottery couldn't have gone better for the NHL, as one of the most historic rivalries in the league is reignited at the hands of two 18-year-olds.