This is unfathomable to me. how can any franchise care that much about beating another team that the actual question of whether or not winning the cup without beating the leafs would be ‘sweet’ enough???? insane!… and a little pathetic. Thankfully – for Sens fans – Alfredsson shoots down that question.
“The battle is on for spots in the Eastern Conference playoff race, and Toronto is in right now, holding down the eighth and final spot. But the Leafs, who are on a four-game losing skid, were only two points up on ninth-place Tampa Bay (51-49) heading into play last night and three ahead of Montreal.
Two Ottawa wins over the next couple of days could go a long way to sticking a dagger in Toronto’s post-season aspirations.”
Pay close attention to the last sentence. i can’t believe that i have to point this out but, WE STILL HAVE 34 GAMES LEFT IN THE REGULAR SEASON AFTER OUR GAMES IN OTTAWA!. i can’t believe the loss of perspective here (and in the panicky toronto media) – sure the leafs are ‘barely holding on’ to the last playoff spot. but … um … its mid-JANURARY for pete’s sake!
Al Strachan makes a similar comment: “A double victory for the Senators this weekend wouldn’t do that. But it probably would knock the Leafs out of a playoff position for the time being, and further damage the team’s brittle psyche. As a result, this series could be just as much of a turning point for the Leafs as it could be for the Senators. “
i know i know – its al strachan so i really don’t need to respond to that here. but needless to say, the leafs DONT have a mental disadvantage to the Sens – remember, its the leafs that beat the sens in the playoffs 4 out of 5 years and not the other way around. moreover, it was the leafs that lost virtually every season series to the sens – 5-0 in some years – and lost regular season games 7-2, 7-1 etc. so its not like the leafs should be worried about the senators (especially considering that they are nowhere near them in the standings).
i am not saying these games are not important – they are. but the more important games are the upcoming ones against the Rangers, Sabres, Habs, Devils, etc. – teams that toronto are battling with.]]>
“So much for sending them a message,” Phillips said.
Perhaps one day if the Senators meet the Leafs in the playoffs and beat them en route to a Stanley Cup victory, they will earn the right to be overconfident in The Battle of Ontario.”]]>
the sens-leafs season series is NOT as important to the leafs as many sens fans would like to believe – or at least, not in the way they think it is important.
the leafs want to win their games against the sens because they are battling for a playoff spot (NJ, Mtl, TB, Atl are all on our tails now). pride might be an issue considering the last two sens-leafs games but i think that in the bigger picture for this year, that is nothing compared to making the playoffs.
i think even the sens realize how little importance these two games are to them too. they want to stay with Philly and Carolina and ahead of Buffalo but all this talk about ‘confidence-building by beating the leafs’ and such should have went out the window when the sens clobbered the leafs in 2 straight games. if the Sens are STILL looking over their shoulders at the leafs in 6th place, then that’s pretty sad.
as for the season series, well, at least they’ve won another regular season series and they can build on that. the only other way that this series could be meaningful (other than the history it produces) is the possibility that the leafs and sens meet in the first round.
i live near ottawa and i feel sorry for the amount of attention the leafs get here – from SOME sens fans but especially the ottawa media (i just heard the sens reporter describe the leafs as a ‘crappy hockey club’ in the post-game show to the Ducks-Sens game – amazing that a team above .500 and in playoff contention could be described as such but he could describe others like the Habs as ‘formidable opponents.’ just to give you an idea of the kind of hyperbole in the ottawa media). sure the chip on the shoulder exists because of the 4 straight playoff losses but this is a brand new season and the sens have no business caring about what the leafs are doing. they should be worried about winning a cup – not defeating a team in the 6th-9th spot.]]>