Behind the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Ottawa Senators have to be the most hated team in the eyes of Buffalo Sabres fans. The Sabres and Senators games have always brought that sort of intensity that you only see in the good rivalries. Both teams hate each other and their histories go way back. Back to the late 90's where the Sabres always seemed to have the Senators numbers in the playoffs.
The rivalry heated up in the last few years though. In 2005, where the Senators had the best record in the Eastern Conference and the Sabres smoked them out in the playoffs before losing in the Eastern Conference Finals to the Hurricanes. In 2006, the tides reversed when the Sabres had the best record in the league and the Senators smoked them out on their way to losing in the Stanley Cup finals.
In the past few seasons, both teams have become shells of their former selves. The Senators sit in 13th place in the division, firing two coaches midway through their past two seasons. The Big Three in Heatley, Alfredsson, and Spezza just cannot carry a team that has suspect goaltending and bad defense. The Sabres are hanging on to a playoff spot in the 7th spot of the conference, losing many of the big name stars that took them to the prominent spots in 2005 and 2006.
No matter who the players are or who the coaches are, rivalries are ingrained in a team. The Sabres will always hate the Senators and the Senators will always hate the Sabres. The fans will also follow the same. If you need any motivation for tonight's game, below is some history between these two teams.