As already made clear, a team does not have to be in the same division to be a rival. This is certainly the case when it comes to the Anaheim Ducks. Other than maybe Colorado and Detroit, I honestly can’t think of too many other out of division rivalries as big as Nashville and Anaheim. For teams that only play each three times a year, they really do not like each other.
What really drives this rivalry are the playoff meetings. The Predators and Ducks have faced each other three separate times in the playoffs. What makes it even more special is that the three times they have faced have all been since 2011. This is one of the few rivalries where Nashville has pretty much always had the advantage. In there first meeting in 2011 Anaheim became the first team to lose to Nashville in the playoffs. Likewise, in the two meetings since then Nashville has come out victorious in both.
Aside from the playoff meetings, what also contributes to this rivalry is that the fan bases cannot stand one another. The fans constantly go back and forth on social media during the limited number of times they see each other. Despite the fact that Anaheim and Nashville play so few times a year, that just enriches the rivalry even more. It is kind of like the old saying, “distance makes the heart grow fonder,” except in this case it is the opposite. Distance makes the heart grow colder.