Saturday, March 27, 2004

Leafs and Sens renew acquaintances tonight at the ACC

Home Ice advantage is just one of the sub plots in tonight’s Hockey Night in Canada match up between Ottawa and Toronto at the Air Canada Centre. When we last left the provincial cousins coach Pat Quinn was saying rather uncomplimentary things about the Senators players and coaching staff.

In the intervening days since the last game, we’ve seen the Toronto management pony up some money so their fans can wear their sweaters inside the Corel Centre when the two teams meet next Saturday night in Ottawa. And we've hard talk, lots and lots of talk.

Tonight First place in the Northeast could become a bit clearer, as the teams scramble for home ice advantage in the playoffs and tonight could set the tone for a possible playoff match up.

Both teams are coming off of big wins from Thursday, the Sense shutting out the Canadians 4-0 in Montreal, with Patrick Larimer having one of his best performances of the year thus far. The Leafs taking care of the Bruins 2-0, making the logjam at the top of the Northeast something that probably won’t be sorted out until the last game of the season.

Both teams will be relatively healthy for the game tonight, the February 5th game in Ottawa, featured a flu ridden Senators squad, which had a hard time keeping its players on the bench let alone on the ice.

Some hard hits, fast paced action and some solid goaltending. That should be the recipe for tonight’s contest, while the two teams don’t really need to get up for each other anymore, the fact that they are still so close to each other in the standings with one week to go, should make this a pretty intense night of hockey.

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