The Alternate Reality No Lock-Out 2012-2013 Season

  • 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.
  • Anze Kopitar (and Willie Mitchell?) would have been in uniform when the Kings raised the cup banner on October 12, 2012, when the Kings played their home opener against the New York Rangers.
  • 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.

  4 comments for “The Alternate Reality No Lock-Out 2012-2013 Season

  1. Kingnation13
    January 10, 2013 at 6:49 PM

    I have a feeling we’ll still see a good number of games from Bernier. He’s been active throughout the lockout and Quick will need time to regain strength and flexibility. I’m thinking Quick will be 75% ready by opening day. With the compressed schedule, I’m guessing 60-40 Quick, the first month or so. And if Quick starts out slow, maybe, 50-50?

    • January 10, 2013 at 9:10 PM

      Oh well. Today Sutter said he plans to give most of the work to Quick.

  2. USHA#17
    January 11, 2013 at 3:26 PM

    For me 82 games has always been a bit much. I look forward to a condensed schedule but will be watching for Bettman points coming earlier and with more frequency.

    Sure the GMs will have a shorten time frame for trade and value decisions. No doubt that it will be more of a crap shoot…but isn’t always a two edge sword? Wonder how many GM and Coaches will be exposed due to the lost of 82 games over which streaks can average out.

    Quick’s surgery worries me. Especially with a schedule too short to warm up…or experiment. Same is true for Kopitar and Mitchell. Hope the team steps up and allows these guys the space to properly heal or the consequences could be long term…and Bernier would not be going anywhere.

    I would play conservative, no less then 50-50, with Bernier handling the lion’s share at the start.

    PS Gotta love Kovi.The witless slug wants to St. Petersburg. I have an idea. Have him skating laps every night for next 13 years, with a bag taped to this chin while the PA system blares a distorted loop of gangsta rap.

  3. January 12, 2013 at 9:55 PM

    I think that the Roenick problem will also be a function of who has been playing elsewhere and who has not. Admittedly, that doesn’t sound like much of a benefit for Kopi at the moment, but he has been playing at a decent competitive level for a couple of months. Wasn’t Brownie ticketed to play overseas, too?

    Mitchell and Scuderi will benefit from the shortened season because of the general durability issues that apply when you play physical and reach your mid-30s. But then, the same will be true of the older, physical guys on other teams, too.

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