In the past couple seasons, the Battle of Ontario, once one of the best rivalries in hockey, has lost some of its edge.
With the Toronto Maple Leafs stuck in a seeminlgy endless run of mediocrity, it was hard to get overly excited about a vist from our Ontario neighbours. But this season, that seems to be changing. It should be an electric atmosphere at SBP tonight when the injury-riddled Senators take on the suddenly respectable Leafs.
The two teams come into tonight's match up in a dead heat- 22 points a piece through 18 games.
The Senators have reeled off three straight wins while the Leafs have won 7 of their past 10. The Leafs controlled the last match up on Saturday night but that was against a Sens team still reeling from the injury to their star defenceman. They have been a different team since that night.
Ottawa will obviously be without Craig Anderson tonight but it doesn't seem like a long term injury. Can't imagine Anderson missing more than two weeks.
In the meantime, Paul MacLean will turn to Ben Bishop as his starting goalie on Saturday night. Robin Lehner will dress as his back up. With Stephane Da Costa back in Bingo, Jim O'Brien draws back into the line up assuming a spot as 4th line right winger.
Here is how the Coach lined them up at the morning skate.
For those of you going to the game tonight, be LOUD!
The rivalry between the two fan bases has been taken to another level thanks to the "Take Back the Bank" initiative so you know the Leafs supporters will be out in full force. I've always felt the best way to take back our building is to just be louder than the other guy. Don't be afraid to support your team!
GO SENS GO!
- Special night at SBP as the Senators and Sens Foundation will host Hockey Talks. For a third straight season, the organization will partner with Do It For Daron (D.I.F.D.) to educate fans on youth mental health. They'll also be raising funds in support of the D.I.F.D. Fund at the Royal Ottawa Hospital Foundation for Mental Health. For more information on the Hockey Talks event, check out this link.