Tankapalooza has fans cheering for wrong team
It has been dubbed Tankapalooza 2015, but with the cellar-dwelling Arizona Coyotes and Buffalo Sabres playing twice in five days and battling it out for the best odds toward winning the draft lottery that would "earn" one of the franchises difference-maker Connor McDavid, the tension was palpable Thursday.
The first meeting Thursday in Buffalo was a back-and-forth affair with Sam Gagner delivering the Coyotes an overtime victory. Some would say the Sabres won Round 1, especially their fans, who cheered the winning goal and every Coyotes goal for that matter.
"It's tough to get momentum when your fans are rooting against you," Sabres defenseman Mike Weber said. "That's the unfortunate part. I've never seen that before. I've always spoken extremely high of our fans. I don't even know if disappointed is the word. They scored that first one, our fans are cheering. Delayed penalty, they cheer. They cheer when they score to win the game. I don't know. I don't even know what to say."
The Vancouver Canucks continue to play well under new coach Willies Desjardins. Forward Jannik Hansen told the Vancouver Province that it's "two different worlds" under Desjardins and former coach John Tortorella.
Said Hansen, "John was 'my way or the highway.' The player-coach relationship was different. Willie is a lot more down-to-earth. I don't think I've heard him chew out a player yet."
Florida's Jaromir Jagr has no plans to retire. Asked if he has another year left in him, Jagr joked (we think), "I've got another seven years left in me."
Jagr, 43, ranks fifth all-time with 718 goals and 1,792 points.
Before Monday's Wild-Maple Leafs game, Toronto defenseman Eric Brewer was honored for playing 1,000 games by being presented the customary silver stick. Earlier in the day, Brewer joked, "I should probably use it the way I'm handling the puck."