Game On

One week after the Rams’ season came to an end…and one day before the college football season will come to an end…St. Louis Area sports fans got the news so many wanted to hear: hockey is back.

The Twitter tweets were flying early Sunday morning with the good news. And, to add to it for Blues’ fans, ESPN’s Jon Buccigross, an anchor who used to be all over the NHL when ESPN carried the NHL tweeted this out:

“Stanley Cup Prediction: New York Rangers vs. St. Louis Blues.”

And, for the record, his prediction was Kings-Penguins last year.

Not too bad.

And, it’s just a reminder that not only is hockey back in St. Louis, but a damn good team is coming back in St. Louis.

I know some people wonder about what the impact of a shortened season in a condensed schedule will do to teams and players…and what the perspective of the NHL will be toward whoever wins the Stanley Cup.

Well, on the last aspect, I would tell you that, at least from where I sit, few people mention or take anything away from the Miami Heat’s 2012 NBA Championship following a shortened season.

And, as far as how the shortened season will impact the teams and players?

Keith Tkachuk said on The ITDRoll.com Morning After that he expects that we’ll see a lot more injuries than normal.

But, Barry Melrose said this type of schedule will benefit a young, strong team…”like the St. Louis Blues.”

What about the fans? What will the response be around the league? What will the response be in St. Louis? Producer Joe sent me an email wondering how people felt about the following questions, all of which I think are fair questions. So, if you’d like feel free to respond in the comments section to these questions:

-Curious if people are going to try and go to the same number of games as usual, less than usual, more than usual. 

-If people are going have the same interest in a shortened season as usual or did this work stoppage kill their interest.

-If people will be willing to forgive both the players and owners if the Blues are competitive.

-If the shortened season may be something that will have more interest in because there are going to be games just about every other day.

My guess is that the work stoppage won’t impact fans in the stands much locally, but we’ll see a slight decrease league-wide.

And, when the playoffs start, you’ll have to remind fans that there was a work stoppage.

But, perhaps the third one of these deals in 20 years will have a much bigger impact.

Fortunately, we’ll start to get to see in just a couple of weeks.

What do you think will happen?

Log-in and post your comments, or you can email me at tmckernan@insidestl.com.

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# brockohol
Monday, January 07, 2013 10:05 AM
Cant wait...

Honestly, I think anyone saying things like "Im not watching because we need to make a statement" is a fucking nerd. Yeah it sucked they didnt play and some of the people involved are morons but who really gives a shit at this point. The Blues will be awesome and it will be fun to watch. Go ahead and "boycott" the games while Im having a blast. No one cares if your making a statement.

I dont plan on "making a statement" by not watching/going/caring...my life sucks without the Blues playing multiple times per week and I enjoy the shit out of watching and talking about the Blues.
# Chud
Monday, January 07, 2013 12:24 PM
The only thing about your Heat/Blues championship comparison that I'm not sure about would be that there were far more games knocked-off the NHL schedule than the NBA schedule, weren't there? I was thinking they still played 60 games, but I am probably completely wrong. If I'm right, though, and say they do only play 48 games, that's a TON of games, practically half the season - gone. I just think there could possibly be a little less "legitimacy" - at least in some people's eyes - with the champion of a more-shortened NHL season.

I hope they do extend the season to a nice round number of 50. Fifty games has a better ring to it. In a strange way, I think just those two extra games would add more legitimacy to the season.

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