In the larger picture, I am yet convinced that hockey is really recovering from the painful effects of the strike. That strike did more than take hockey away from its very loyal core fan base. It fed coverage of pending doom for what is truly North America's finest spectator sport -- the stories were filled with negative comments on how hockey had too many teams, that it had expanded too fast, that it allowed too much fighting, or not enough fighting. The strike set off thousands of painful cuts among opinion elites that can't be fixed with a couple of good attendance years.
I don't get as excited about the game as I did when I was young -- it's harder to follow players because they jump frequently and you can't see them as easily on television now that everyone wears helmets, and, well it's just not cheap to go.
It's still a great game, however, especially at the arena. The Caps are family friendly, they market themselves well (and they have persistent sales people, I tell ya) and Ted is a great owner for the fans.
And as long as we have players like this guy and this guy , it will be a game worth seeing.
(no this isn't going to become a respond-to-Ted blog).