The results are in!
Last week, we asked you to take part in a fan survey to find out which team is the Nashville Predators’ biggest rival. Over 300 respondents completed the survey and there are some very interesting results.
Before we get to the results, a quick explanation on how these results were calculated. I adjusted the scores a little bit, in order to smooth out the results at the top of the survey. I gave more weight to the #1 ranking than the #2, more weight to the #2 ranking than the #3 and so on.
The adjustment looks something similar to the way the scores are calculated for award voting: 1st = 10 points, 2nd = 5 points, 3rd = 3 points, 4th = 2 points, everything else = 1 point.
So without further ado, here are the results of the top 10!
With not much of a shock, I am proud to say that the Blackhawks remain firmly in the lead. They are the Secretariat of Predators’ rivals... it wasn’t even close.
This rivalry has featured 16 playoff games since 2010, including a disastrous Game 5 in Chicago back in 2010 and then a vengeful sweep in Nashville in 2017. But there’s also been plenty of recent regular season quibbles, including the time that Ryan Hartman chicken-winged Matt Irwin (hmm) and, of course, this:
The biggest surprise (or maybe “the biggest result of recency bias”) is the 2nd place finisher. The Jets surpass the Ducks, probably mostly fueled by the seven-game series in 2018, which included plenty of man-child Dustin Byfuglien and whiny Mark Scheifele. The Jets have their own brand of insufferable hockey playing, and it certainly looks like this rivalry will stick around for a while.
That leaves the Ducks firmly in 3rd place, but this rivalry should not be overlooked. Plenty of folks put Anaheim in their top 2 and for good reason. This list of names is enough: Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf, Ryan Kesler, Nick Ritchie.
Ok, this list of names is enough: Corey Perry.
Some other observations about the top 10:
- The Penguins make it into the top 5! That’s high for a team in the Eastern Conference not named the Red Wings.
- The Blues made it a bit higher than I would have expected. But it makes sense.
- I would have expected the Avalanche to be a bit higher, but give it time.
- The ranking of Central division rivals goes: Hawks, Jets, Blues, Wild, Stars, Avs
- The Golden Knights getting in on the action! They even got a first place vote.
With that, here’s #11-20:
- Just missing the top 10 are the Sharks, which is interesting. The Preds have played the Sharks 17 times in the playoffs, 2nd most behind the Ducks. but the Sharks have always had the Preds’ number, so maybe people feel there’s an imbalance in success.
- Ah, the Columbus Blue Jackets. That rivalry that isn’t a rivalry.
- So there could be some sabotage going on here. I mean, who is putting the Hurricanes, Panthers, and Islanders as the Preds’ #1 rivalry? Come on, folks.
- Tampa Bay sticks out to me as a legit top 15 rival just based on that time that J.T. Brown and Ryan Ellis lost their damn minds:
And just in case you want to see the teams that none of us care about at all, here’s #21-30:
- Buffalo getting some votes probably because of Phil Housley? I don’t really know. Maybe that awful loss late last year really hit folks the wrong way.
- Hahahahahaha, Montreal. Hahahahaha.
- The Rangers getting the Jimmy Vesey treatment.
- Ottawa still has a team?
- Philadelphia and New Jersey lay claim to Team Irrelevant—we literally do not care about playing you.
Thanks to everyone who submitted a response! I could see this being something to return to every summer, just to see how the fanbase changes over the years.