Battle of Who Could Care Less
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Battle of Who Could Care Less

Ah, the Battle of Ontario: remember how it used to matter? Remember how an undermanned Leaf team eliminating a powerhouse Senator team from the playoffs became an annual rite of spring? So do we—but those days are behind us for the time being. The Leafs and the Senators limp into tonight’s contest in suburban Ottawa mired in twenty-fourth and twenty-seventh place, respectively, in a thirty-team league. The Leafs were supposed to struggle this year; the Senators certainly weren’t, and they certainly weren’t supposed to be the second-lowest-scoring team in the league, not with their Big Three (Dany Heatley, Jason Spezza and Daniel Alfredsson) providing the offence. So why would you waste a perfectly good evening watching two teams jostle for draft position? Because tonight could be your last chance to see several players, Nik Antropov and Tomas Kaberle among them, wearing the Maple Leaf uniform. The NHL trade deadline is next Wednesday, and the Maple Leafs will look much different in one week’s time. That, if nothing else, makes tonight’s Battle of Ontario worth watching in our eyes.