Toron­to­ni­ans make up a good chunk of the fan base at Sabres games

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

ANY­TIME THE TORONTO Maple Leafs visit the First Ni­a­gara Cen­ter, about 10,000 fans come along for the ride. And they almost al­ways go home un­happy. The Sabres have made a habit of lay­ing a beat­ing on the Leafs in Buf­falo, com­pil­ing a 66-27-6 mark. Go­ing into 2014-15, the Leafs were a mis­er­able 11-31-6 against Buf­falo since the Sabres moved out of the Aud.

The ri­valry goes back to the Sabres’ in­cep­tion in 1970 when they named Punch Im­lach, the ar­chi­tect of the Leafs dy­nasty teams of the 1960s, their first GM and coach. The ri­valry has been dubbed ‘The Bat­tle of the QEW,’ after the stretch of high­way known as the Queen El­iz­a­beth Way that con­nects Toronto and Buf­falo’s Peace


Bridge. They’re the clos­est team ge­o­graph­i­cally for the Leafs and the cheers for Toronto of­ten drown out those for the Sabres in Buf­falo.

Toronto refers to it­self as a cos­mopoli­tan, world-class city. Buf­falo? Con­sider Jof­frey Lupul tweeted from his Buf­falo ho­tel room once, “Are there any win­dow­less rooms?”

The two teams meet Oct. 28, Nov. 15, March 11 and April 1.

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