The Ottawa Senators face-off against the Toronto Maple Leafs in a battle for Canadian NHL supremacy. Who will come out on top?
The Ottawa Senators and Toronto Maple Leafs are two of the oldest rivals in the NHL. These two teams have been playing each other since the early 1900s and their rivalry is as strong as ever. The Senators and Maple Leafs have met in the playoffs numerous times, with the most recent meeting being in 2017. The Senators are currently one of the top teams in the NHL, while the Maple Leafs are rebuilding but still have a strong fan base. These two teams always put on a good show when they meet, so it should be another great game tonight.
1. The Battle of Ontario: Why the Senators and Maple Leafs Hate Each Other
The Battle of Ontario is a fierce rivalry between the Ottawa Senators and the Toronto Maple Leafs. The two teams have been battling it out since the early 1900s and the rivalry is only getting stronger. There are a number of reasons why these two teams hate each other so much.
First, the Senators and Maple Leafs are both Original Six teams and have a long history of competition. The two teams have met in the playoffs numerous times, with the most recent meeting being in 2017 when the Senators defeated the Maple Leafs in overtime of Game 7. This was a heart-breaking loss for Toronto fans, which only added fuel to the fire.
Second, these two teams are located in close proximity to each other, which amplifies their rivalry. Fans from both cities can easily travel to away games and there is often a lot of trash talking between fans from both sides.
Finally, there is simply no love lost between the players on these two teams. They are constantly chirping each other on the ice and there have been many altercations between them over.
2. A History of the Senators-Maple Leafs Rivalry
The Senators-Maple Leafs rivalry is one of the oldest and most storied rivalries in the NHL. The two teams have been battling it out on the ice for over 100 years and the rivalry shows no signs of slowing down.
The Senators and Maple Leafs first met on the ice in 1917 when they were both members of the NHL’s original six teams. The two teams played each other in a best-of-three Stanley Cup series with the Maple Leafs winning 2-0.
The rivalry really heated up in 1920 when Ottawa’s King Clancy knocked Toronto’s Ace Bailey unconscious with a vicious bodycheck during a game. This led to a bench clearing brawl and both players were suspended for several games.
Clancy later said that he regretted his actions and even sent Bailey a flowers as an apology. Bailey forgave Clancy and even gave him his stick as a souvenir, which Clancy kept until his death in 1986.
Despite this act of goodwill, the Senators and Maple Leafs remained fierce rivals on the ice for many years to come. The two teams met each other often in playoff battles with Toronto usually coming out on top. In fact, it wasn’t until 1934 that Ottawa finally won their first playoff series against Toronto after losing eight straight times previously.
3. The Best and Worst Moments of the Senators-Maple Leafs Rivalry
The best moments of the Senators-Maple Leafs rivalry are when the two teams play each other in the playoffs. The most recent example was in 2017 when the Senators defeated the Maple Leafs in six games. That series had everything: big hits, overtime goals, and plenty of trash talk between the two fan bases.
The worst moments of this rivalry are when fans get too heated and start fighting with each other. It’s happened a few times over the years, and it’s always unfortunate to see.
4. Reasons to Watch the Ottawa Senators vs. Toronto Maple Leafs Rivalry
- These two teams have a long-standing rivalry dating back to the early days of the NHL.
- The Senators and Maple Leafs are both Original Six teams, which adds to the intensity of the rivalry.
- Both teams are located in Canadian cities, which makes for a passionate fan base on both sides.
- The Senators and Maple Leafs have met in the playoffs several times, with the most recent series going to seven games in 2017 (which the Senators won).
- The games between these two teams are always hotly contested and tend to be very close affairs.
- Many of today’s NHL stars began their careers with either the Senators or Maple Leafs, so there is added layer of familiarity between these players that adds to the rivalry’s appeal (e.g. Sidney Crosby vs Dion Phaneuf).
- Ottawa is known as a “hockey town” while Toronto has been called a “mecca” for hockey fans – this only heightens tensions between fans of each team as they battle for bragging rights over who truly loves and knows hockey more.
- With both teams being among Canada’s oldest franchises, there is also considerable history at stake whenever they meet.
- Most recently, in December 2020, Sens forward Brady Tkachuk scored an overtime game-winning goal against his hometown Toronto Maple Leafs.
- As one of sports’ most intense rivalries, any game featuring Ottawa vs Toronto is must-see TV for any true fan of hockey.
5. Reasons Why the Ottawa Senators Will Beat the Toronto Maple Leafs
The Ottawa Senators are one of the most underrated teams in the NHL. They have a strong defensive core led by captain Erik Karlsson, and a deep forward group that can score goals in bunches. Here are five reasons why the Senators will beat the Toronto Maple Leafs in their first-round playoff series:
- The Senators have been one of the best teams in the NHL since December 1st. They have gone on several lengthy winning streaks and have only lost more than two games in a row once since early February.
- The Senators have playoff experience, while the Maple Leafs do not. This could be a factor in what is sure to be a tight series.
- The Sens are led by their defensemen, while Toronto relies heavily on their forwards for scoring production. Karlsson is capable of shutting down opposing forwards, which could limit the Leafs’ offensive output.
- Craig Anderson has been one of the best goaltenders in the NHL over the past month or so and gives Ottawa a big advantage between the pipes over Frederik Andersen, who has struggled down the stretch for Toronto..
- The home ice advantage will also play into Ottawa’s hands as they will have last change meaning they can match up better against Toronto’s top offensive weapons like Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner.