The Toronto Maple Leafs and the Ottawa Senators will renew their long time rivalry on Saturday night when they face off in a matchup known only as the Battle of Ontario. The two provincial rivals have faced off many times but the rivalry has suffered as of late due to the fact that both teams were rarely considered to be serious contenders at the same time, instead having one of the two teams usually floundering nearer to the bottom of the standings. Even though that is once again the case with the Senators well out of a playoff spot, there are some wrinkles to this one that will likely have fans glued to their seats.
Arguably the most intriguing aspect of this edition of the Battle of Ontario will be the fact that we have a returning participant in the form of Jason Spezza. Not only will Spezza be the most experienced participant in tonight's edition of the battle, but he will also be fighting on the opposite side of that battle for the very first time in his National Hockey League career. Spezza, a long time member of the Ottawa Senators organization, has seen more Battle of Ontario's than any other player in this game tonight but he has always seen it from the perspective of an Ottawa Senator. You would think that being on the other side would represent something special to the veteran NHLer, but Spezza seemed entirely unmoved by his rather unique return to the rivalry.
According to a report from Jason Cuthbert of Yahoo Sports, the veteran forward was asked if he would be putting anything extra into tonight's game against his former team, and somewhat surprisingly Spezza appeared to brush off the thought.
“It’s not that big of a deal to be honest,” said Spezza as per Cuthbert.
Although you might expect Spezza to show a little more emotion here it's also worth noting that we are talking about a man with literally thousands of NHL games under his belt already. At the end of the day this is really only a regular season game, and Spezza may simply be too cool a customer to get excited about this one.