The two worst teams in the NHL faced off against each other Thursday night in the Connor McDavid Bowl – and while the coaches and players were certainly trying to win the game, the allegiance of the hometown fans wasn’t quite as honourable.
The Coyotes scored four times in the game and each time you could hear – and see – Sabres fans celebrating. Perhaps the most obvious example of this came in overtime, when Arizona’s Sam Gagner scored the game-winner that kept the Coyotes comfortably ahead of the Sabres in the standings.
With the 4-3 overtime win, Arizona moved one point further ahead of Buffalo. Now, the Coyotes have 54 points with seven games remaining, while the Sabres are at 48 points with eight games left.
As Sportsnet’s Damien Cox reported Wednesday, the NHL Draft Lottery is expected to be held on Saturday, April 18 on the first weekend of playoff games. There, it will be determined which team will pick first overall and the chance to take McDavid.
Under the new lottery rules, the 30th place team has a 20 percent chance to win the lottery and hang on to the top pick, while the 29th place team has a 13.5 percent chance to leap frog them into the No. 1 spot.
Buffalo’s loss Thursday gave Sabres fans a reason to cheer – but something about this whole situation just doesn’t sit right. Not that we’re faulting the fans for desiring the potential generational talents of McDavid.
The Sabres and Coyotes play again on Monday, in Arizona.