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Why The Toronto-Ottawa Rivalry Is About to Get Better

OTTAWA - MARCH 11:  Jason Spezza #19 and Dany Heatley #15 of the Ottawa Senators stand on the ice during the game against the Tampa Bay Lightning on March 11, 2009 at the Scotiabank Place in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Phillip MacCallum/Getty Images)
Bleacher ReportAnalyst IOctober 5, 2009

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.

 

Goals.

 

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.

 

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Be sure to check out my blog at budsinblue.blogspot.com, and the Maple Leafs section of MTR Media at http://myteamrivals.typepad.com/mapleleafs/

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