Tuesdays With Hildy: Would A Shortened Season Impact How The Blues Are Viewed?

Scott Rovak-US PRESSWIRE

If the Blues are successful through whatever season the NHL does have, will the shortened length alter how the fans, media, and other teams view them?

I know some of your wounds are sore from last night, or heck, every night since Friday. That was a terrible playoff series for the Cardinals, and I'm pretty sure that somewhere, someone went "See? I told you they weren't really any good. They just got in because of a rule change."

While that might be true (the rule change bit, not necessarily the "not any good" part, at least sometimes), that doesn't change the fact that they were one win away from the World Series. Playoffs are the second season; anything can happen. Bud Selig's rule change still had non-Cards fans crying foul about this year's playoffs, regardless of how well the Cards played to a point.

Would that happen in the NHL? It's not exactly a sweeping rule change like the second wild card, but shortening the NHL's season from 82 games down to 62 or so might have fans questioning the success of some teams. "Oh, they just made the playoffs because the season was 20 games short," will probably be a common refrain. "They're not really that good of a team." The Blues might not have to worry about that criticism, but if they repeat the division championship, does that deserve an asterisk? Does any team that wins a division in a briefer season deserve one?

Even more annoying than hearing people go "Such-and-such team didn't *really* win the division" would be "Oh, man, they don't deserve to really be the Stanley Cup winners. They played through a shorter season. They're more fresh than they normally would have been. * insert other excuse here *" What if the Blues win the Cup? No, I'm not trying to jinx, but in a season that would lend itself to people complaining about whoever the champion is, it'd make perfect sense if the Blues won it.

My question to you is this: if the Blues won the Stanley Cup this year, would the achievement be diminished in your eyes? What about if another team wins? Did they do something less than the Kings did last year, or do you firmly stick with the "second season" philosophy?

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