If you thought being a Toronto Maple Leafs fan was tough, being an Ottawa Senators fan is 100 times worse.
Filled with star power, a few young players ready for a breakout season and a new owner, the Ottawa Senators looked bound to take a step towards competing with the Toronto Maple Leafs this season, but the opposite happened. They somehow got even worse this year and are on-pace to have their worse campaign in five years.
As a Leafs fan, I obviously love every minute of this. Growing up, the Battle of Ontario was real, as the team faced each other four times in five years in the playoffs, but naturally Toronto won every single season. Ottawa and Toronto haven't competed in the playoffs together since 2004, but things are so bad in the country's capital that the Senators just hired Jacques Martin, who coached the Sens the last time these two teams faced in the playoffs.
The 71-year-old is most likely an interim coach for the rest of the season, as the team will look to find a new identity next year, but it's hilarious that they went back to an old coach to hope for old results. It's the same thing when the Toronto Blue Jays re-hired Cito Gaston in 2008, hoping he could bring them back to the glory days of the back-to-back World Series victories in 1992/1993.
The Toronto Maple Leafs Are Superior to the Senators
If you look at the names on the Senators' roster, it's pretty impressive, but for whatever reason, they can't win. Goaltending is a huge reason towards that, but if they ever wanted to fix that, they have a number of trade chips who could help improve the roster such as: Tim Stutzle, Claude Giroux, Drake Batherson, Brady Tkachuk, Jakob Chychrun, Josh Norris, Vladimir Tarasenko, Jake Anderson, Thomas Chabot.
All nine of those players are solid NHLers who could help any team, but they can't seem to get any wins in Ottawa, which puts them in a weird spot.
The Toronto Maple Leafs have a similar number of trade chips, but they're winners. Sure, they may not win in the playoffs, but they win more than enough regular season games every year to make the playoffs every year. Toronto is on their way to making the playoffs for the eighth straight year, while Ottawa is ready to miss the playoffs for the seventh consecutive season.
They're in opposite directions, but when you look at both rosters, they shouldn't be night-and-day.
As such, Ottawa is in a tough place right now. Will new owner Michael Andlauer make a huge splash at the NHL Trade Deadline or offseason and trade some big name players, or will he try to steer the ship in the right direction by focusing on goaltending help?
Regardless, I hope the Senators continue to fall apart, while our beloved Leafs make the playoffs every single season and give us something to cheer about from October to April.