My Experience in the Middle of the Toronto vs. Montreal Rivalry

Anthony FuscoCorrespondent IIIApril 14, 2013

TORONTO, CANADA - APRIL 13:  Dion Phaneuf #3 of the Toronto Maple Leafs celebrates his goal with an assist from teammate Nazem Kadri #43 in a game against the Montreal Canadiens on April 13, 2013 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
Claus Andersen/Getty Images

Growing up in Toronto, I have been privileged enough to witness firsthand the intense rivalry between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Montreal Canadiens.

The two teams have one of the oldest and most storied rivalries in NHL history. Both clubs met for the first time way back in 1917 and since have played more than 700 games against each other.

Those fans who were on the side of the Blue and White were sure happy Saturday night as the Leafs came away with a solid 5-1 win over the visiting Habs.

As a spectator at this game, I was right in the middle of the action. I was sitting near a large clump of Leafs fans, who by the halfway mark of the first frame had lots of chirping ammunition to toss at the Montreal faithful in the stands.

The exchanges were hilarious to say the least. A Leafs fan in his late 50s yelled a comment to the Habs fans after starting goalie Carey Price was chased from the net saying "Price couldn't stop a beach ball tonight! Good luck winning now boys!"

A young man stood up in his Subban jersey, and waving his Habs flag directed his comment at the fan who called out Price said "Hey man, stats speak for themselves," referring to the fact that Montreal is higher in the standings than the Leafs.

Another fan of the Blue and White, a young woman quickly fired back "Here's a stat for you buddy. It's 4-1 (at that point) and you're on the losing end." That quick response elicited cheers from the Leaf faithful in my seating area.

The Buds were able to contain and clobber Montreal despite being out-shot 37-28. A host of different Leafs lit the lamp tonight, with goals coming from Tyler Bozak, Leo Komarov, Jay McClement, Dion Phaneuf and Phil Kessel.

As the final minutes ticked down at the Air Canada Centre, the many fans of the Buds, seeing their team up 5-1, began to taunt the Habs on the ice by singing their traditional winning song of "Ole, Ole." Currently the season series between these two stands at 3-1 in favour of the Leafs.

The rivalry is alive and well between the two Canadian teams. I was able to witness goals, big hits and both fanbases taking shot a one another over the course of the night.

If these two clubs were to be matched up in the upcoming postseason, fans and players alike would be treated to some energetic and exciting hockey.

We can only hope, right?

Tweet me @FuscoNation16.