It isn't always pretty. In fact, it rarely is.
When the two top ice hockey squads in the New York-New Jersey metro area lace them up, it's always a spectacle. But it's never more so than when the matchups come in the playoffs.
Of course, we're talking about the New Jersey Devils and the New York Rangers (sorry Islanders fans, but the '80s are behind us). The two teams begin their best-of-seven Eastern Conference Finals series Monday night (8; NBC Sports Network) for the right to head to the Stanley Cup Finals.
Of course, most fans remember the last time these two faced each other for that right. It was 1994. For Rangers fans, it was the precursor to a fantastic Stanley Cup championship victory over the Vancouver Canucks and the end of the "1940" chants. It was a Game 7, double-overtime victory thanks to "Matteau, Matteau, Matteau!"
For the Devils, it was the spark that drove them to their first championship the very next year, and future victories in 2000 and 2003. It helped launch "Marty" into the rarest of goalie air.
And now, almost 18 years later, Martin Brodeur will once again lead his Devils against the Rangers and quite possibly the game's current top goaltender, Henrik Lundqvist.
And the teams appear to have as much built up tension now as they did then. In fact, their split regular season contests this year were filled with fighting.
We know (OK, we hope) you are more civil when it comes to your friendly gamesmanship with those who root for your rival. But we also know that you want to see your team bury the other and get its chance at hockey immortality.
So, tell us who is going to win, and how. Vote in our poll. Will it be the Rangers in a sweep? The Devils in a nail-biter? Or something else. Then–good naturedly, of course–tell us in the comments why your team is going to win this time around.
Editor's Note: This poll appears on multiple Patch sites in Morris, Somerset and Sussex Counties. The comments you see may not be from people in your town.