Why The Toronto-Ottawa Rivalry Is About To Get Better

Over the past couple years the Toronto Maple Leafs and Ottawa Senators have not had that hate for each other like they used to when they would meet in the playoffs before the 2004-05 lockout.

However, now that both teams are struggling to make the playoffs, and they have each watched their glory days leave, the Battle of Ontario is about to get better.

Now that the Toronto Maple Leafs are a tougher team, and by some are expected to make the playoffs, they should be able to push around a frustrated, yet relieved Ottawa team.

The Sens traded disgruntled winger Dany Heatley to the San Jose Sharks at the beginning of training camp. Heatley always tore it up against Toronto when he was a member of the Senators, and now Ottawa will have to manage without the size, and skill, of Heatley against a big Toronto team.

Now, there is one main reason why the rivalry between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Ottawa Senators is about to re-turn to its old ways.

They are both going to be battling for a playoff spot, and both teams know it. This means that from game number one, on October 6th, 2009, these teams are going to be battling for every goal they can squeeze past the opposing team.

Once these teams hit the ice it is going to be a brawl. Hit after hit, save after save.

However, there is something missing.


Last season games between Ottawa and Toronto would finish like 5-2, 4-3, and 3-2. Now you can expect game to end up like 2-1, 2-0, 1-0. Why? Because Ottawa does not have the firepower of Heatley, and both teams have good goalie tandems.

So with a shortage of goals, plenty of hate, and battling for playoff positions, the Battle of Ontario should be back, and almost better than ever, as soon as the teams hit the ice tomorrow night at the ACC.


Maple Leafs now 0-2 after falling to Capitals

The Maple Leafs are now 0-1-1 after losing to the Washington Capitals in their second game of the season 6-4.

The Maple Leafs scored three un-answered in the third period to bring the game to 6-4, but they could not finish off the comeback, however.

Alexander Ovechkin had three points along with Alexander Semin who added two goals and assisted another, while Brooks Laich and Capitals newcomers Mike Knuble and Brendan Morrison also scored for the Caps. Toronto goal scorers were Lee Stempniak, Niklas Hagman, Mikhail Grabovski, and Alexei Ponikarovsky, who now has two goals in as many games.

The Capitals got off to a hot start after making it 3-0 before the Maple Leafs got on the board in the second, however the Buds were trailing 6-1 after 40 minutes of play.

Vesa Toskala was pulled in the first intermission after allowing three goals on eight shots, and Jonas Gustavsson played the remainder of the game. The Capitals swept the three stars selections, with Semin, Ovechkin, and Laich taking those honours, one, two, and three respectively.


Maple Leafs drop final pre-season game to Sabres in high scoring affair

After sending Nazem Kadri back to junior, and two others to the Marlies, the Toronto Maple Leafs lost just their third game of the pre-season, in their final one, 7-6 to the Buffalo Sabres Sunday night at the ACC.

Tomas Vanek had a pair of goals in the Sabres victory, while MacArthur, Kennedy, Gerbe, and Ellis also scored for Buffalo.

It was a sloppy game to say the least in Toronto, with more turnovers than one could count.

It was all looking good for the Bud's after 20 minutes, as they held the 2-0 lead. Once the second started, the Sabres answered back with three straight of their own.

Toronto then scored to tie it before Buffalo added two more to restore their lead.

The Maple Leafs then began what looked like another one of their combacks, with Grabovski scoring at 18:35 in the third, and a late penalty and icing call against the Sabres. However, the Leafs were never able to complete the comeback and fell to the Sabres 7-6, to split the pre-season series, one game a piece.

The Bud's will head of to Huntsville, Ontario for some team bonding activities, before heading it back to Toronto where they will host the Montreal Canadiens in game one of 82. Gametime is 7pm and it can be seen on CBC, or heard on AM640.


Maple Leafs take game two of home-and-home with Detroit

The Maple Leafs won their second straight game Saturday night, and their sixth of the pre-season, with a 2-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings.

The Red Wings got on the board first when Brad Stuart's slapshot beat Vesa Toskala with just 32 seconds left in the first period. The Maple Leafs then scored two straight, in the second and third, from Gunnarsson (PP) and Stahlberg.

The Leafs didnt look back from there as they held on to sweep the home-and-home by beating the Red Wings 2-1.

Vesa Toskala allowed one goal on seven shots, while Jonas Gustavsson saved all 15 shots that he faced.

The Maple Leafs are now 6-2 this pre-season, and will face the Sabres at the ACC tomorrow night to wrap up the pre-season before getting ready to face the Montreal Canadiens in game one of 2009/10 campaign. Tomorrow night's game time is 7pm and the game can be seen on Leafs TV.


Maple Leafs Down Red Wings In Dramatic Fashion

The Toronto Maple Leafs won their fifth game of the pre-season to improve their record to 5-2-0.

Viktor Stahlberg opened the scoring in the first period with his thrid of the pre-season, before scoring his second of the game, and fourth of the pre-season, to put the Maple Leafs up 2-0. Nazem Kadri then scored half way through the 2nd period to give the Maple Leafs a three goal lead. It wasnt until fourteen minutes into the second that the Red Wings got on the board, when Niklas Kronwall potted his first of two goals on the night to make it 3-1.

Once the Red Wings made it 3-2 they tied it and then took the lead with two straight goals, just 14 seconds apart, from Johan Franzen. With 1:11 remaining in the 3rd Mikhail Grabovski scored to tie it at 4.

Grabovski then had another chance to score, which would have won the Maple Leafs with game, with 34 seconds left in overtime, before being hooked on what some people thought should have resulted in a penalty shot. The Maple Leafs could not score on the man advantage, however they would win the shootout 2-1, to win the game by a final score of 5-4.

The Maple Leafs will take on the Red Wings back at the ACC for part two of the home-and-home. Game time is 7:00pm and can be seen on CBC, and Leafs TV.