There is certainly no doubt, the Sens/Leaf rivalry is nothing like the 1990s and early 2000s.
The rivalry, which will be re-ignited tonight tonight in Ottawa, is a far cry from back when both teams were yearly constants to be in the playoffs. People remember when epic playoff rounds and brawl fest regular season games. Battles between Alfreddsson and Sundin, Chara and Tucker, and Niel and Domi were the pinnacle of these games. Many of these players are not with either team anymore, so naturally the rivalry had lost its flare.
The Sens (36-25-4) sit in fifith place in the Eastern Conferance and are certainly the better team on paper. But they know not to take the Leafs (19-32-12) too lightly as they were the ones to break the Sens franchise record 11-game win streak last month.
The Senators who have struggled as of late, losing their past two games 4-1, will be in tough as they will have to "take the crowd out if it" in their home building. Their problem seems to be poor goal tending and a bit of Olympic rust. The Leafs are coming off a shootout loss to the Bruins.
New trades will be a factor for this game as both teams had a bit of a shakeup on trade deadline day. The Sens acquired both F Matt Cullen from the Hurricanes and D Andy Sutton from the New York Islanders. The leafs dealt away F Alexi Ponikarovsky to the Penguins for young prospect F Luca Caputi. The leafs also traded F Lee Stempniak to Phoenix for D Matt Jones and two late round draft picks.
This matchup promises to be no where the rivalry of old, but still a solid matchup for a Saturday Night.