Jonathan Quick got me thinking. He said yesterday that even if there had been no lock-out, he wouldn’t have been able to play until, well, now. He would have missed half the season. Mostly likely, this means we would have seen 30-35 games of Jonathan Bernier and 5-10 of…Martin Jones? I would have liked to have seen that. There are so many ways that could have gotten interesting.
Bernier is not likely to play more than 10 games (in a Los Angeles sweater anyway) before his RFA contract is negotiated next (oh, I mean this) summer.
What would have happened had Bernier been able to play 35 games, doubling his NHL career totals? For one thing, it would be much more clear whether or not my faith in him is justified. It occurs to me, though, that if he did well, he would almost certainly be traded. And if he did poorly? Same. I guess one way to look at that is, the writing is on the wall, goddammit. Only now the picture of who exactly Jon Bernier is will be much less in focus than it would have been in the No-Lock-Out reality.
And David Courtney would have been able to announce the banner raising.
We’ll know in a couple of weeks whether the nearly five month delay will be a plus or minus for the Kings. I previously noted that the extra time to heal and recover might be a godsend. However:
The Roenick problem. You know, guys showing up fat and crapping out.
My suspicion is that the older guys — Mitchell, Scuderi — know better than to take any time off the regimen that keep them up to speed (insert speed joke here) year after year. I worry about the younger guys. The ones who entered the league after the last lock-out, the ones who have never in their lives taken this much time away from their accustomed level of play.
January is traditionally the time of year when the Kings have very nearly flushed their season and I write a series of optimistic posts about how they really can still make the playoffs, if only they do this and that by this date and that one. Hopefully, I won’t do that this season, but if I do, the equivalent would be late February.
We also start talking about the number of points it’s going to take to make the playoffs. Back in 1995, the last time we did this 48 game season thing, the Kings finished with 41 points. 42 points (San Jose) was the cut-off. There were 12 teams in the conference.
How many points will it take this year? I’ll have to get back to you. But it will be more, due to the Bettman point (we still have that, don’t we?). I’m guessing in the low 50s.
One more thing. The last time we did the 48 game season, the Rangers were the reigning cup champs. How did the delayed and shortened season affect them? They squeaked into 8th place, making the playoffs by a point, and lost in the quarter-finals.
And I can’t believe I didn’t lead with this, since it’s been on my mind all week. If the season had started on schedule, it seems to me almost certain that Rich Hammond would still be covering the Kings.
Some posts the robot says are related, but I'll let you be the judge of that: