LA Kings vs. San Jose Sharks is Officially A Rivalry

2 of 2

But this isn’t a dog and pony show, it’s hockey, where fortunately enough, the two teams have built up immense drama on the ice. Staples Center on Tuesday night was raucous, and in full playoff mode as the Kings used three third period goals to take a bite out of the Sharks’ playoff hopes, with 5-2 win. The big stars were out too, as Mike Richards, Anze Kopitar, Dustin Brown, Jeff Carter and Justin Williams all recorded points for the Kings. The Kings took advantage of an onslaught of San Jose penalties in the third, and the victory sets up further intrigue as the teams prepare to close their seasons with a home and home series next month.

The Kings finished last season with a home and home against Anaheim, and you just get the feeling that the Kings and Sharks will far outplay the two snooze-fests of those Freeway Faceoff games. Over the last year plus, the Sharks and Kings have played some truly intense hockey, including their game on Tuesday night.

In December of 2010, the Kings steamrolled the Sharks 4-0 in a game that included Anze Kopitar’s Hail Mary lob pass to Dustin Brown, then lost a 1-0 defensive struggle on the first day of 2011. Less than a month later at Staples Center, the teams went into the All-Star Break with a Kings shootout win over the Sharks. Then, in the Kings’ last game of 2011 with a healthy Anze Kopitar, the Kings and Sharks played the most intense game of the season. Patrick Marleau tied the game with just three and half minutes left, before Dustin Brown got the Kings the lead right back. Then, with just five seconds remaining, Marleau equalized again for the Sharks, forcing an all out sprint of an overtime period before the Kings again won in another shootout. The Sharks bit back in the last week of the season with a 6-1 throttling of the Kings before the teams met in their dramatic playoff series, and the rivalry continued.

During the playoffs, droves of fans wearing Sharks jerseys and San Francisco Giants caps flocked down the 101 to see the Sharks win three games at Staples Center and win the series, much to the chagrin of Kings fans who sat in agony as the Kings blew chance after chance on home ice. Near brawls broke out in the Upper Concourse and in parking lots, and the rivalry was on, especially in July when Michal Handzus signed with San Jose and Martin Havlat decided to show his love for the Kings fans at Staples Center.

So fast forward to Tuesday night and the Kings’ second win of the season against the Sharks, and just imagine how intense the last two games will be, both at the HP Pavillion and at Staples Center. You know it’s a rivalry when you’re forced to sit back and look forward to it, and we all are doing just that.

What do you say about the Kings-Sharks rivalry at the moment? Do you agree that the Sharks the biggest rivals for the Kings right now? Or, are you still hung up on the Vancouver Canucks or buying into the Freeway Faceoff with the Ducks? Vote in the poll and leave your thoughts below in the comments.