This place would have been panic city if we lost again. Not unreasonably so, either. The room for error is cut in half with this shortened season. 0-2 to start the season would not have been a good place to be.
I think you are being optimistic and there is nothing wrong with that. The fact is that our defense is unproven and it's the first time in a long time that we're going into a season feeling shaky on the back end. You can play various tricks with numbers and stats to convince yourself it's going to be okay, but that's just a more calculated form of optimism. Our off-season acquisitions were not significant enough to make the entire fan base feel equally optimistic, but half the fun is seeing what happens and how we adapt. Though I will say whatever perks you want to cite about signing Samuelsson, Tootoo, and Brunner (bang for buck, etc.) won't mean much if we end up dropping games from our shaky defense. Filling that gap was our top priority that's where I would most heavily weigh the grade. I wouldn't necessarily give us an A, but here's to being proven wrong.
This is silly. The fact that we're all clattering away on this message board during a lockout is that we're all huge fans of hockey. If the game came back, the last thing I'd want is to financially "punish" the league. I want the game to be popular and strong and I am bothered by those that consider our game a fringe sport. The fact of the matter is that they have a product we love and can use that to their advantage now. It sucks but we have to wait it out until the greed gets worked out.
Hockey players tend to have egos as big as their appetite for cash. As long as the NHL is the most competitive and historic league, they will come back to establish their legacy. Sure it's nice to get paid a competitive salary and be at home, but no one will ever give them props for being one of the greatest while they are in the KHL. They are mad and irrational like us fans, but they'll march right back when things are worked out like us too.
If all the owners are cattle farmers, words like these are certainly prodding for trouble. It's pretty obvious there's a power struggle element to all of this and I fear symbollically whoever is grossing more than 50% is the one wearing the pants in the relationship. What a petty situation to be in.
I don't remember who said it, but someone pointed out how a lock-out should be the league's last resort in situations like this. It definitely seems like they've been using it as a first option to push around the NHLPA. I remember when Bettman made the announcement to cancel the season last time, he very clearly stated that the offer they had on the table would have been the best the players would get, and now it's off the table. Then he comes back six years later looking to for a better bargain after the league has had nothing but success. What is wrong with this guy? It shows a real lapse in compassion for the fans. It's one thing to negotiate aggressively, but it's another to take it so far as shutting the game down over and over.
I haven't been overly critical of Bettman over the years because the guy is doing his job by playing hardball and getting done what his employers ask of him. I don't know if it's from Bettman or somewhere else in the chain of command, but it's clear that there is a force out there that generally doesn't understand how much it means to fans to have hockey each year. It makes me think things might be different if the commissioner was born and raised in Canada or another hockey hotbed, and not some dude from Queens who was originally working for the NBA.