Hey, what’s this? An actual predictions post in mid-October, prior to the start of a (relatively) normal hockey season? What is this, 2018?!
Yes, it’s been that long since we had an 82-game season. Put another way, the youngest students who have experienced what amounts to a normal school year are in 3rd grade right now. (Or even 4th grade, if you’re down on the coast and had a month wiped out by Hurricane Matthew in 2018.)
Needless to say, a return to relative normalcy is welcomed. Sure, we’ll still have pandemic-related bumps in the road this year, but thankfully, with all but four NHL players vaccinated per commissioner Gary Bettman on ESPN Radio yesterday morning, those should be fewer, farther between, and significantly less frequent than what we have dealt with the past couple of years.