What happened to the Battle of Ontario? Plus, comparing Karlsson/Bolland injuries

Ottawa Senators defenceman Erik Karlsson. Image Courtesy of Wikipedia Commons.

Ottawa Senators defenceman Erik Karlsson. Image Courtesy of Wikipedia Commons.

I guess when two franchises suffer, the rivalry between them does as well. The Toronto Maple Leafs and Ottawa Senators used to be enemies. Games between Ontario’s two National Hockey League teams once teemed with animosity and hate. They called it the Battle of Ontario because it was a clash of violence and skill. It’s been a while, though.

Next spring marks the 10-year anniversary of the last time the Maple Leafs and Senators clashed in the post season. Since then, there has been two NHL lockouts, a nine year playoff drought for the Blue & White, and a failed Stanley Cup finals appearance by the Sens.

They even swap players now. There was a time when if a player was on the Leafs, he never went to the Sens afterward, and vis versa. I know, in the early days, when the Leafs were in the Western Conference, goaltender Damien Rhodes went from Toronto to Ottawa. However, once the rivalry developed, fuelled by four playoff series’ in a six year window, the player swapping died.

Last summer, UFA Clarke MacArthur traded in his maple leaf for a gladiator, or whatever this guy is. Martin Gerber did the swap a few years before, but it’s pretty rare.

And just when you thought the Leafs vs Senators hatred had hit an ultimate low, this happened:


*Erik Karlsson suffered a severed Achilles tendon last season. The play that saw Karlsson go down was remarkably similar to the sequence that caused injury to Leafs centre Dave Bolland Saturday night in Vancouver. Karlsson’s well wishing was a nice gesture, all kidding aside.

Videos of the Karlsson and Bolland injuries will reveal how much each incident resembles the other.