While we wait for a schedule to come out, we know we'll have 48 games based on reports. We believe it's all in conference. So what will we miss out on?
We miss the defending Stanley Cup Champion LA Kings visiting; we miss Teemu's last game vs. the Bruins. We miss a chance to HATE the Vancouver Canucks. We miss Original Six match ups with Detroit & Chicago and their oh so pretty sweaters. We miss out on the chance to be reminded that we DON'T miss Joe Thornton with a game against San Jose. We miss the weird way we hate the Dallas Stars. We miss out on seeing young talent in Edmonton. We miss St. Louis which is a fun team to watch. We miss a cool potential road trip to Smashville. We miss Columbus...wait, no we don't. We miss Wideman being paid a pile of money in Calgary to do what Wideman does. We miss the new additions on the Wild. And Phoenix....well at least Raffi Torres is still suspended.
We miss the Winter Classic, which was to be the biggest ever, with the first Canadian team involved. We miss 24/7 – can you imagine the amazing awkward Phil Kessel moments in 24/7? The Winter Classic always puts out some interesting sweaters.
We miss the All Star Game – well, we miss the draft and the skill competition. Who would have topped Kane’s Superman moment? Who gets picked last?
It's been 327 days since the Bruins have played Montreal. Now we're over here being friends with Habs fans. We miss hating them, and by the way they miss hating us too. We miss how Buffalo hates us and thinks we hate them back and by the way I just miss laughing at them. We missed Thanking Kessel.
We missed Jack saying something so crazy that we have to run it back on the DVR to hear it again to make sure he said it. We miss Brick correcting Jack when he’s just gone off the rails. We miss Rene’s golden pipes. We miss Gouch & Beers calling from left to right on our radios. We missed amazing Toucher & Rich montages.
And while we're at it, we missed Patrice being perfect. We missed Horton’s smile. We missed Seguin being asked to the prom. We missed Marchy being stupid. We missed Ference saving the earth. We missed Chara just being Chara. We missed Seidenberg being a beast. We missed Paille missing the net on breakaways. We missed Raptor Jesus. We missed Thornton dropping the gloves. We missed Claude preventing the shorthanded goal on the power play.
But mostly what we miss is the routine. Maybe it's leaving work at the RIGHT time to get your parking space. Maybe it's the concession guy that you blow a kiss to every game on the way to your seats (some people do that!) Maybe it's picking your jersey (or scarf) for the game. Maybe it's going to the same spot during intermission. Maybe it’s that post game beverage that turns into watching the west coast game.
All that stuff is back, but we lost some traditions. Opening Night won’t be Opening Night. You can’t redo Black Friday. There’s nothing like spending time with friends and family that whole weekend with some afternoon hockey, inevitably always against the Rangers, mixed in. You can’t reschedule the Rene Rancourt Christmas Sing -A-Long. It’s always that moment when he starts singing “Home for the Holidays” that I shift from prepping for the holidays and just start to enjoy them.
Here’s what I definitely won’t miss about the lockout, either – I won’t miss getting my hopes up. I won’t miss staying up late glued to my twitter. CBA negotiations were never meant to be covered minute to minute. I won’t miss media members snipping with each other over twitter. I won’t miss the media being played by both sides of this mess in order to get their message out there and try to win over the fans to their side. I will miss the Podium Watch because it was SO stupid that it just became funny. And Dregerface owns and I’ll miss the many iterations of him.
Messing with a routine – that’s not great, but screwing up traditions – there’s not enough blue paint in the world to patronize me into forgetting that these traditions we lost can’t be replaced. So do us a favor NHL, save the blue paint and just do what you can’t screw up – play amazing hockey. I think we’ll forgive, but we’ll never forget the lockout of 2012-13. Let’s hope that it doesn't happen again in 8-10 years.