By Allan Muir
Yeah, I heard you last September. “Wake me up when the lockout’s over,” you said.
No one’s blaming you for nodding off while the finger-pointing, name calling, line-in-the-sand-drawing lawyers cost us nearly four months of NHL hockey. In fact, I got a little blurry myself listening to all that talk about cap escalators and salary variance and rose ceremonies, but here I am with that call you’ve been waiting for. Time to rub the sleep out of your eyes, pull the team sweater out of mothballs, settle into that lucky couch groove and pop the top on your favorite frosty beverage. (And while you’re waiting for the first puck ro drop, some suggested reading..)
The abbreviated 2013 NHL season finally begins Saturday afternoon. And it’s gonna be a good one. (Kings raise banner in style.)
Make that really good. The 48-games-in-99-days, intra-conference schedule isn’t just “better than nothing.” This impossibly compressed timeline actually magnifies the importance of every moment, every slump, every streak, every injury. With so much on the line and no margin for error, it even makes an Islanders game worth watching. On a Tuesday. In February.