Answer: When the first home-grown player from your city/state (a city/state that had never even heard of hockey before they got an NHL franchise) returns home with his current team.
The stands were much more full than normal, and the apparel of choice was a #34 Toronto Maple Leafs sweater.
The Leafs came out flying and built a 3-0 lead. The Coyotes battled back, then the Leafs woke back up, and that was all she wrote.
The "home" team won, and the home team lost.
Overall, there was 11 goals and since wins and losses have ceased to matter, due to the team being eliminated from playoff contention by the second week in October, that's about all you can ask for from a holiday game against one of the league's best teams: entertainment.
Not that it matters, but this was only the second time in 14 games where the Coyotes had over 50% possession - too bad any rando off the street could have outplayed Scott Wedgewood!
Worth pointing out in this game was the play of the unfairly maligned Anthony Duclair. Duclair put up a 74% CF rating and could easily have scored a goal or two. One of those potential goals was pure larceny by Fred Andersen who prevented what would have tied the game with an incredible save.
But if you need to know a potential reason why the Coyotes are terrible, look no farther than the coach who rarely plays Duclair.
Even though the coach bizarrely calls out his defensive game, he is fifth on the Coyotes in relative possession. He allows less shots against per 60 than either Domi or Keller.
He is second on the team in points per 60.
And keep in mind, this is a coach who can't manage his team's minutes at all. In one game earlier this year against Florida, he had Rinaldo and Cousins on the ice, down by a goal, with a minute left.
Last night, for example, Demers and Goligoski played more at 5v5 than Oliver Ekman-Larsson.
The Coyotes are most likely going to give Duclair away, which will be an error. What they should be looking for is a coach who is qualified to work in the NHL in 2017.
Final Word: I thought this was worth passing along - last night a graphic on the screen indicated that no team since the 1981 season had had less wins than the Coyotes through their first 39 (now 40) games.