The NHL and NHLPA came to a tentative agreement this morning to end the NHL lockout. This came after an apparent 16-hour meeting between the two sides. It sounds like the NHL would like to play a 50-game season, but 48 games may be more likely. I had said in my blog yesterday that a 40-game season would be played if the lockout ended, but it appears more games will be played.
Coaches are going to be in full scramble-mode now to try and get their players into good enough shape for a season. Injuries could be a huge factor early in the season after not much of a training camp or preseason. Since this season will be significantly shorter than usual, it will be the teams that start off hot, avoid injuries and losing streaks, and put together winning streaks that end up making the playoffs. Teams that normally don’t make the playoffs will end up making the playoffs this year. Like I already said, it is going to come down to who starts off on the right foot, who has a hot goaltender, and who can avoid injuries.
The regular season this year will be as intense as ever with each game having a more significant impact on who makes the playoffs. It is going to be a sprint to the finish, and a good one at that. I am pumped and can’t wait for the first puck-drop. Finally, we can say there will be hockey.