BUFFALO, N.Y. - Two and a half years ago, on March 26, 2015, the Buffalo Sabres lost to the Arizona Coyotes at the then-First Niagara Center.
It was exactly the result many Sabres fans had hoped to see.
That was during the height of the tanking phenomenon, when fans who'd watched Sabres hockey their entire lives made the uncomfortable decision to root for late-season losses in order to snag a top draft pick and win the Connor McDavid or Jack Eichel sweepstakes.
The tank, of course, unfolded perfectly for fans who were into that kind of thing. The Sabres lost enough games to grab Eichel, and now the franchise has locked him down in Buffalo for a decade.
So as the Sabres open the 2017-18 season with a renewed sense of optimism, it was fun to rewind back to 2015 and re-watch our story from the night of March 26, 2015. What a bizarre atmosphere it was, interviewing conflicted Sabres fans who, for one night at least, converted to Arizona Coyotes fans.
But the mood before Opening Night 2017? Couldn't be anymore different. We set out to interview fans again, and the general sentiment outside the arena was a "playoffs-or-bust" mentality.
Check it out in the video player above.