The Buffalo Sabres have existed for over 50 seasons and they have concocted more than a few major rivalries since their inception.
The Buffalo Sabres traded Jack Eichel to the Vegas Golden Knights on November 4th, 2021. It sparked a potential inter-conference rivalry between a hard-luck franchise and one that had never experienced a losing season or even a missed playoff berth until Eichel arrived. So while a rivalry between the Sabres and Knights brews with each passing season there are five that the Sabres have engaged in for decades.
And those are the heated feuds we will talk about today. Whether they are just physical games in general, or cross-border battles for supremacy, here are five teams the Buffalo Sabres and their faithful following always get satisfaction from beating. Let’s start with the nearest market.
Who are the Buffalo Sabres biggest rivals? Team #1 – Toronto Maple Leafs
On March 3rd, 2022, Matthew Morris of The Hockey Writers labeled the Buffalo Sabres-Toronto Maple Leafs rivalry as the most underrated in the NHL. This came one day after the Sabres upset the Maple Leafs and just 10 before the Auston Matthews-Rasmus Dahlin incident.
This rivalry reminds me a lot of the Pittsburgh Steelers-Cleveland Browns tilt in the NFL – two cities separated by a highway, similar cultures, geographic features, and rich histories. But not only are the Sabres and Leafs connected with all the above criteria, just like Cleveland and Pittsburgh they also share interwoven histories.
The Maple Leafs had a borderline monopoly in what is known as the Golden Horseshoe, and the Sabres threw a wrench in that come 1970. It’s probably clear Leafs management wasn’t too fond of this upstart franchise. Then Punch Imlach, previously with the Leafs, headed up those first Sabres teams.
Like any other manager/coach coming from another franchise, Imlach brought numerous former Leafs with him, with longtime Leaf Tim Horton eventually joining in. Over the next five decades, dozens of players swapped sides, and we would need to write another dozen slideshows to name them all.
Of course, being the Original Six team that the Leafs are, they hold themselves to a set standard. Unfortunately for them and fortunately for those in the Queen City, the Sabres have owned the Leafs, leading the series by a substantial margin.
Article Source: Maple Leafs-Sabres Rivalry Is NHL’s Most Underrated by Matthew Morris