Buffalo Sabres fans were heard openly cheering for the Arizona Coyotes in Thursday night's tank battle, leaving Sabres defenseman Mike Weber extremely frustrated.
The Buffalo Sabres’ race toward the bottom is becoming a bitter pill for players to swallow, especially when fans are openly cheering for a Sabres loss.
“I don’t even know what to say,” Weber said. “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 [do] whatever I can for them, and to play hard for them and my teammates.”
The Sabres tanking for a shot at drafting either Connor McDavid or Jack Eichel is the open secret of the NHL, but fans were not exactly subtle when Buffalo gave up the game's first goal to Arizona’s Craig Cunningham.
Fans are already embracing the tank, but it’s putting them at odds with the team. Weber also isn’t the first player to come out against this attitude. Forward Patrick Kaleta told the Associated Press that he didn’t like fans trying to create a losing environment, and center Tyler Ennis said he wants to win regardless of what Buffalo's fans think.
So who's in the right: fans rooting for losses or players giving an honest effort? This season can't end fast enough for the NHL's fastest-sinking team.
- Anna Gallegos