After all four Coyotes goals, there were noticeable cheers inside First Niagara Center, where the Sabres call home. With both Arizona and Buffalo in the hunt to finish last overall in the NHL and earn the best draft lottery odds to take McDavid first overall in June, it was quite the scene, especially after Gagner’s winner:
Sounds a bit like a Coyotes home game.
While executives of both teams might not be shedding tears after losses this season, the players and coaching staffs are still playing the games with full effort. Jobs are on the line for many. So when Sabres defenseman Mike Weber heard the cheers for each Coyotes goal, he took exception and voice his frustration after the game.
For the video-impaired:
“I’ve always spoken extremely high of our fans. I don’t even know if disappointed is the word. They score that first one and our fans are cheering. Late penalty, they cheer. They cheer when they score to win the game.
I don’t even know what to say. This is extremely frustrating for us. We don’t want to be here. We understand where we are. We understand what this team’s doing, what the organization’s doing, the place we’ve put ourselves in. I’ve never been a part of something like that, where the away team comes into a home building and they’re cheering for them. Again, I respect our fans. I love our fans. I show up to work everyday to whatever I can for them, and to play hard for them and my teammates… Again, I’ve never seen that before. I don’t know what else to say.”
“This is two years in a row now. Physically, mentally, this sucks. To compound things, you have your home fans cheering against you. Again, I’ve never been a part of that. Obviously, what doesn’t kill ya makes you stronger, I guess. But this is a whole new low right now.”
Again, the players are still playing for pride. Some are playing for contracts or to stay with their respective teams next season. They're not worrying about some superstar prospect who may or may not save their franchise.
Obviously, Sabres fans see McDavid or Jack Eichel as a cornerstone piece in turning around their team's fortunes, but this what the you get when you incentivize losing.
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