Okay. Before I share this, I have to disclose: I’m not a fan of the tank.
Am I a fan of teams looking at their rosters, holding on to good future pieces, and exercising good asset management that may make them a travesty on ice for a bit? Of course. Sometimes, you have to get worse before you can get better — and if that means icing an offensive lineup with either Kyle Chipchura or Johan Larsson as your top line center until Sam Reinhart or Martin Hanzal are around to do the job, so be it. When you have a couple great prospects and some powerful draft picks in your possession, a losing season can still be perceived as coming up millhouse. Suggesting that players are going to play without any effort or intentionally lose, though? Exit stage left, please.
That being said, the Buffalo Sabres may not be trying to lose games — but when they traded multiple key roster players for a guy about to undergo season-ending surgery, it became pretty safe to assume the primary goal this year was finishing last.
The Buffalo Sabres are certainly making this a memorable season — and with some iconic players being offered at the Entry Draft this summer, it seems the fans are really going all in to ’embrace the tank’.
This picture, courtesy of Reddit user r/zebra15, is from the Amherst Ale House near Buffalo, New York.
I checked out their website. Aside from being in the greater Buffalo area (and therefore extremely far out of my way, no matter how you spin it), they seem like a pretty fun place. The food menu — which includes pizza, so sign me up — seems to have a good selection and is offered late enough that you can watch Pacific Coast games and still get food before regulation ends, and the beer selection is fantastic. Any sports bar that serves a blueberry wheat ale gets my vote.
Of course, I think we’d all probably be tempted to visit the Amherst Ale House regardless of whether the food seems good or not, though — just to get a chance to try their Tank Drinks.
The McDavid drink is only described as ‘Green Drink with Orange Vodka’, which sounds like it’s prepping you for a letdown (but is probably surprisingly delicious, or they wouldn’t have named it after the patron hockey prospect Connor McDavid). The Eichel drink, on the other hand, sounds a lot like the kid it’s named after — described as ‘Red Drink with Cherry Vodka’, it seems like something that would probably include a red bull and inspire you to use some somewhat vulgar language.
The McDavid drink costs $4.97 (a tribute to his ’97’ jersey number), while the Eichel drink costs $4.09 (once again, a nod at the Boston University forward’s jersey number ‘9’) — although good luck getting what you want, since the sign warns that there’s an 80% chance you’ll get the Eichel drink no matter what you want.
It’s been a pretty dismal season in Buffalo — between the auctioning off of every good goalie they’ve iced this year and the eight hundred feet of snow that buried the city for a good chunk of winter — but it’s good to know that the locals are having fun with it. Plus, this is a good way to prep Sabres fans for the potential, inevitable disappointment of losing the draft lottery two years running.
They say if you drink enough cherry vodka, you can’t feel the pain. Tank on, Buffalo.