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NHL FanPulse: Fans are optimistic about having a Stanley Cup champion, but not about finishing the season.

There are a lot of close differences of opinion this week.

2020 NHL All-Star - NHL Fan Fair & Mascot Showdown Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images

The longer social-distancing (if you can, do it, and if you are unable to, thank you for probably being one of those people making it possible for others) drags on, the more apparent it becomes that for now, this is the new normal.

No one likes the new normal, and everyone would like a return to the old normal ASAP. It’s not selfish to take a break from the news and miss hockey, or baseball, or going to the St. Louis Zoo to chill with the penguins. We all have our favorite things, and it’s a punch when we know that right now, those things are out of reach.

I think that it is very safe to say that all of us miss hockey, specifically the Blues, very much. Something that I have not heard a lot of people say is that they expect the season to be completed, and that’s pretty well reflected in this week’s FanPulse results (sign up here to lend your voice).

Actually completing the season right now would be irresponsible from a medical standpoint and impossible from a logistical standpoint if the league wants to start next season on time, like most of you think will happen.

It’s a tough question to answer, because we can’t predict what happens with a pandemic, nor can we predict what the Board of Governors will decide on. Having playoffs, even in an altered format, which is what most feel will happen, will shove back or cancel the NHL Awards ceremony and mess with the NHL Draft date.

Playoffs may have to be shortened to get the new season started at a reasonable time that doesn’t cut further into the league and teams’ operating fund. On the other hand, to give bubble teams a shot at getting in this year, the NHL has been seriously considering a play-in format a la MLB’s wild card game. This could cause the playoff format to be permanently changed in coming seasons. Much like another baseball point of contrition - the designated hitter - you guys look like you’re pretty divided there.

Finally, if people think that there will be playoffs - and that seems to be the direction that we’re headed in, folks really think that there will be a Stanley Cup champion this season.

The beauty of this is that if you’re an optimist or a pessimist, you can give the exact same answer: the St. Louis Blues. It’s like Schrodinger’s Cup! We may award it, we may not, but we know it’s there.