All of the optimism of a new year apparently hasn't reached Toronto, where they perpetually wallow in the shadow of their last Stanley Cup (1967, they still had hippies back then!). Apparently the misery of sucking for so long has permeated the fifth estate and the Star has a truly depressing article on the state of the game.
Damien Cox reminisces on the first post-lockout season while bashing last year. He said:
"When an Anaheim-Ottawa final turned out to be an enormous dud, it was clear the league's second season out of the lockout had been very, very different from its first, but no more popular in terms of television ratings and attendance."
Wait a second, he expected a boost in ratings when the Anaheim Ducks and Ottawa Senators played in the Stanley Cup Final? What was he drinking back then, because I want some. You can't expect ratings to have an immediate boost when you have two small market teams in the finals (again). As for the quality of play throughout the season last year, the revival of the Rangers caused them to sell out this entire season within an hour. I would say that that is a boost in popularity.
The on-the-fence sports fans aren't going to start tuning in because scoring goes up a goal a game, they are going to tune in when something or someone they've heard of does something good. As the league's marketing of Cindy Crosby has fallen short, there is no individuals that those fans will watch, but should the Rangers make a run this year, then those fans just may -- people have heard of the New York Rangers, they haven't heard of the Anaheim Ducks, Carolina Hurricanes or Tampa Bay Lightning.
And that isn't just my New York bias speaking; its widely acknowledged that the Rangers bring ratings. With the good moves they made, there is no reason to be so pessimistic at this point, unless, I guess, you are a Leafs fan and you have to find something new to complain about as the Leafs have yet to lose a game this season. Don't worry my friend, they will, oh yes, they will.