Personally, as a hockey fan, I find this to be the most agonizing time of the year.
We're past the halfway mark of the preseason schedule, which means that after a long summer layoff we finally have some NHL hockey (or at least a version of it) to whet our palates, but the games are basically meaningless.
Any strengths or weaknesses we perceive on our teams could be completely imaginary as there is often a full roster shakeup from game to game. Goalies who look leaky now may be brick walls when the season starts, and special teams that are on fire could go ice cold in the regular season.
There is precious little for one to count on based solely on preseason play, and I for one can't stand ambiguity; hence my agony at this time of year.
As elusive as reliable metrics for handicapping a team might be right now, the preseason does seem to have some value inasmuch as individual players have a chance to show their teams and the fans what they're made of.
Additionally, there are some trends that have developed in this twilight zone between training camp and the regular season that, for good or ill, might affect teams moving forward.
The Detroit Red Wings have three more games to complete in preseason play, but the five they've played to this point have revealed five nuggets of knowledge that may very well impact the team the rest of the year.