CANADA PRIDE PUB­LIC EN­EMY PUB­LIC EN­EMY NO. 1 NO. 1

For decades, Toronto bat­tled with Mon­treal for na­tional sovereignty

The Hockey News - Rivalries 2014 - - Team Vs. Team -

THERE AREN’T MANY hockey ri­val­ries with as much his­tory and ha­tred as the one be­tween the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Mon­treal Cana­di­ens. It dates back to the NHL’s in­au­gu­ral sea­son of 1917-18 – when Toronto’s team wasn’t named what it is to­day – and in­cludes the two fran­chises who’ve won the most Stan­ley Cups in league his­tory (a com­bined 37).

When you blend those el­e­ments with the cul­tural his­tory be­hind the fran­chises – Toronto rep­re­sent­ing English Canada and the Habs rep­re­sent­ing Que­bec’s French-speak­ing majority – you cre­ate a con­flict that doesn’t re­quire play­off en­coun­ters to main­tain its pas­sion and longevity.

Both fran­chises have em-

TYLER BOZAK

ployed some greats (in Mon­treal, it’s been Guy Lafleur, Jean Be­liv­eau, and Mau­rice Richard; in Toronto, Teeder Kennedy, Dar­ryl Sit­tler and Syl Apps), and they un­der­stood they had to be at their best when the Leafs and Habs squared off. Since they’re back in the same di­vi­sion (1998), the ri­valry is as fresh as it’s ever been.

The two teams meet Oct. 8, Feb. 14, Feb, 28 and April 11.

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