The 2012-13 NHL—wait, no scratch that, 2013 NHL season—will certainly be missing a lot.
The grind of a long schedule. The All-Star Game. The Winter Classic. Out of conference play and a total of 1,020 games.
Common sense says that there will also be a shortage of big season-defining games. That may be true, but a 100 percent intra-conference schedule certainly gives each game within the 48-game slate more average importance than a game does during an 82-game season.
So while the NHL Lockout deprived us fans and writers of nearly half an NHL season, the end of the lockout looks to provide us with a healthy diet of great regular season hockey.