Buckle up because this is going to be a long game day thread. There is just too much fun stuff to go over before the puck drops. Hopefully, you have headphones because you'll want to listen to some of the videos below but first a recap of the season series thus far:
October 3, 2007 - Leafs 3 sens 4 OT - Antropov begins his breakout campaign in a big way but the Leafs lose to the sens...again.
October 4, 2007 - Leafs 2 sens 3 - Leafs lose but I am out doing something else which is a pattern that would have saved me a lot of grief this year.
November 6, 2007 - Leafs 1 sens 5 - Already the Battle of Ontario is starting to resemble the Rape and Pillage of Upper Canada as the Leafs fall listlessly to their rivals. Who knew that the tide would turn so soon.
November 17, 2007 - Leafs 3 sens 0 - This is the game that stopped the senators ascent to the status of Greatest Team Ever and put them into the funk that has left them 2 losses away from missing the playoffs that their fans feel is almost a birthright now. Also, showed that Toskala was ready for primetime.
February 2, 2008 - Leafs 4 sens 2 - Despite being beset with injuries the Leafs were able to pull out their second straight win over the senators. It also marked the point when sens bloggers began to increase their calls for the head of John Paddock. The Leafs would soon oblige.
- February 25, 2008 - Leafs 5 sens 0 - A third straight win for the buds and a comprehensive slaughtering of the now reeling sens. This is the game that got John Paddock fired. The Bruins' game was just confirmation that he was completely lost. You're welcome sens.
March 22, 2008 - Leafs 5 sens 4 - This is the game that featured a great comeback by the Leafs spearheaded by Wellwood and Stajan. It kept the Leafs' faltering playoff hopes alive but it also helped push the sens one step closer to completing an epic meltdown.
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Where does that leave tonight's game? Well, for Junior it is just one more act in the cruel play that is life at the hands of the hockey gods. They have already turned a two-time Eastern Conference Finalist into a non-playoff team and apparently they are saving their most ironic twist of the knife for this November's Stanley Cup Champion ottawa senators.
Since the lockout (and really before that) the senators have dominated the regular season series between the two clubs. Last year was a little closer but only a fool would have dreamt that the Leafs could put together four straight regular season wins over the sens. The team tends to stockpile them for the playoff meetings (four times) but obviously this year is some sort of bizarro hockey season. Forget the three opportunities that the sens have been unable to end the Leafs' season. Just look back at 2005-2006 when the senators could have ended the Leafs' season with a win in one of the last games of the year. End result: Leafs 5 sens 1. The history of the Battle of Ontario is one of the sens failing to perform when it matters most. Tonight will be no different. GO LEAFS GO!
Here are some videos to remind you of why a win tonight will be such a boon for Leaf fans: